Quantification of valve regurgitation by radionuclide angiography before and after valve replacement surgery
Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
Radionuclide gated cardiac blood pool imaging was used to quantify the severity of valve regurgitation in 20 patients, by calculating the ratio of left ventricular to right ventricular stroke counts (end-diastolic minus end-systolic counts in right and left ventricular regions of interest). This ratio (the stroke index ratio) was substantially higher in patients with aortic and mitral regurgitation (3.91 +/- 1.45) than in a control group of 10 patients without regurgitation (1.32 +/- 0.15), p less than 0.001. The stroke index ratio correlated closely (r = 0.947) with measurements of regurgitant fraction derived from simultaneous determinations of total and forward stroke volumes during cardiac catheterization. After aortic and mitral valve replacement in 18 patients, the stroke index ratio decreased from 4.03 +/- 1.46 to 1.38 +/- 0.23 (p less than 0.001), a value not significantly different from that observed in patients without regurgitation. All three patients with residual postoperative regurgitation had a stroke index ratio greater than 2 standard deviations above the mean values for the control group (greater than 1.62), whereas the remaining 15 patients, who had no evidence of regurgitation, had values within the normal range. Therefore, radionuclide gated blood pool scanning provides a noninvasive method of quantifying valve regurgitation and assessing the results of medical or surgical interventions.