Validation in the canine model of a new non-invasive method of measuring coronary blood flow reserve: Split dose thallium-201 rest/stress imaging
Diffusely impaired coronary blood flow reserve is difficult to measure non-invasively. We developed and tested a quantitative non-invasive method of measuring coronary blood flow reserve using thallium-201 perfusion imaging. Ten anesthetized dogs were injected simultaneously at rest with thallium-201 and either Ru-103 or Sn-113 microspheres. SPECT images were obtained followed by varying doses of intravenous adenosine, and a second thallium-201 dose was injected simultaneously with either Nb-95 or Sc-46 microspheres. SPECT images were then repeated. The heart was removed, sectioned and counted, along with arterial blood samples. Blood flow was calculated at rest and stress. Peak resting counts in four regions in each of three SPECT slices were subtracted from stress values and stress/rest thallium-201 count ratios (coronary flow reserve (CFR)) were calculated and correlated with the corresponding microsphere flow ratios. Overall correlation of the imaging and microsphere flow ratios was 0.77 (p = 0.0001). Regional correlation coefficients ranged from 0.65-0.86 (p = 0.0001). Coronary blood flow reserve ratios by the microsphere method ranged from 0.7 to 5.3, and by thallium-201 imaging from 0.33-2.45. The non-invasively measured coronary blood flow reserve with thallium-201 imaging and adenosine stress correlates well with microsphere-measured coronary blood flow reserve over a wide range of coronary flows, and should be useful in clinical studies of CFR impairment.