Prognostic value of intravenous dipyridamole thallium scintigraphy after an acute myocardial ischemic event
Seventy-seven patients recovering from an acute coronary event were studied by intravenous dipyridamole thallium scintigraphy to evaluate the prognostic value and safety of the test in this patient subset. Forty-four patients (58%) had unstable angina and 33 (42%) had an acute myocardial infarction. One death occurred within 24 hours of testing. Sixty-eight patients were followed for an average of 12 months; 25, 31 and 23% had a fixed, reversible or combined thallium defect on their predischarge thallium scan. During follow-up, 10 patients died or had a nonfatal myocardial infarction; in each case, a reversible or combined myocardial thallium defect was present. Univariate analysis of 17 clinical, scintigraphic and angiographic variables showed that a reversible thallium defect and the angiographically determined extent of coronary artery disease were predictors of future cardiac events. The extent of coronary disease and global left ventricular ejection fraction were predictors of subsequent reinfarction or death. Logistic regression analyses revealed that a reversible thallium defect (p less than 0.001) and the extent of coronary disease (p less than 0.009) were the only significant predictors of a cardiac event. When death or reinfarction were the outcome variables, the extent of coronary disease (p less than 0.02) and left ventricular ejection fraction (p less than 0.06) were the only variables selected. Thus, intravenous dipyridamole thallium scintigraphy after an acute coronary ischemic syndrome is a useful and relatively safe noninvasive test to predict subsequent cardiac events.