In the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD), thallium imaging has been reported to add prognostic information that is independent of coronary anatomy. To investigate the prognostic importance of thallium imaging in the absence of significant CAD, 87 patients (65 men, 22 women) with abnormal thallium images without significant CAD were followed for a median duration of 22 months (range 11 to 50). Tomographic thallium images obtained immediately and 4 hours after exercise were interpreted by 2 experienced observers who graded thallium uptake in 24 segments in 3 views (short axis, horizontal long axis, vertical long axis) on a 5-point scale (normal; mildly, moderately, or severely reduced; absent). All patients had an abnormal thallium study, defined as a reversible defect of at least mild severity or a fixed defect of at least moderate severity seen in ≥ 2 views, or a combination of these, and a coronary angiogram with stenosis not ≥ 70% in diameter narrowing. Eighty-two patients had at least 1 reversible segment, and 26 patients had defects in ≥ 2 coronary artery distributions. During follow-up there were no deaths or myocardial infarctions. Coronary angioplasty and bypass surgery were performed in 2 patients. Three-year survival without myocardial infarction or revascularization was 97%. Patients with abnormal thallium images in the absence of significant CAD have an excellent short-term prognosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine