Spectrum of exercise thallium-201 myocardial perfusion imaging in patients with chest pain and normal coronary angiograms
Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
Twenty-seven consecutive patients with chest pain and no significant obstructive coronary lesions on arteriography were studied with thallium-201 myocardial imaging during exercise and at rest. Fifteen of the patients had typical and 12 atypical angina pectoris. All underwent treadmill exercise electrocardiographic testing; the results were abnormal in 10 patients (37 percent), normal in 14 (52 percent) and uninterpretable in 3 (11 percent). The exercise and resting thallium-201 myocardial images were normal in 23 patients (85 percent); the results of exercise testing were normal in 12 of these patients, abnormal in 8 and uninterpretable in 3. Four patients had a perfusion defect on exercise thallium-201 myocardial imaging; the defect filled in by 4 hours in two patients but persisted in the other two. In contrast, when thallium-201 myocardial imaging was performed in 28 consecutive patients with angiographic coronary artery disease, only 5 patients (16 percent) had normal exercise and resting thallium-201 myocardial images. Therefore, thallium-201 myocardial imaging offers a more effective means of identifying patients with chest pain and no obstructive coronary artery disease than the clinical history or the exercise electrocardiographic test, or both. However, 15 percent of these patients will have abnormal exercise thallium-201 myocardial images because of factors that have not yet been identified. © 1979.
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