Comparative ability of myocardial perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography to detect coronary artery disease in patients with and without diabetes mellitus

Am Heart J. 1999 May;137(5):949-57. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8703(99)70421-7.


Background: Diabetics generally have more frequent and extensive silent myocardial ischemia than nondiabetics, increasing the importance of noninvasive detection of coronary artery disease (CAD) in this cohort. However, little is known regarding the diagnostic accuracy of myocardial perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in patients with diabetes. This study was undertaken to compare the diagnostic value of rest thallium-201/stress technetium-99m sestamibi dual-isotope myocardial perfusion SPECT in patients with and without diabetes.

Methods: Of the 203 patients with diabetes and 260 patients without diabetes who underwent dual-isotope myocardial perfusion SPECT with exercise or pharmacologic stress testing, 138 diabetics (12% type 1 diabetics) and 188 nondiabetics had coronary angiography within 6 months of the nuclear test, and 65 diabetics and 72 nondiabetics had a low likelihood (<10%, mean 6% +/- 3% and 6% +/- 3%) of CAD.

Results: The angiographic data showed that patients with diabetes had less incidence of 1-vessel disease and a higher incidence of 3-vessel/left main artery disease than patients without diabetes (P <.05). The overall sensitivity and specificity, respectively, of SPECT for detecting CAD with the criterion of >/=50% diameter stenosis were 86% (95 of 111) and 56% (15 of 27) in diabetics, 86% (122 of 142) and 46% (21 of 46) in nondiabetics (P = not significant). With the criterion of >/=70% diameter stenosis the corresponding results were 90% (86 of 96) and 50% (21 of 42) in diabetics, and 91% (108 of 119) and 43% (30 of 69) in nondiabetics, respectively (P = not significant). The normalcy rate for low likelihood patients was 89% (58 of 65) in diabetics and 90% (65 of 72) in nondiabetics (P = not significant). The sensitivity and specificity for individual vessel detection were also similar in patients with and without diabetes (P = not significant) except for a lower sensitivity and a higher specificity for detecting left anterior descending coronary artery disease in the diabetic group (P <.05).

Conclusion: Dual-isotope myocardial perfusion SPECT has comparable accuracy for the diagnosis of CAD in diabetic and nondiabetic patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Perfusion*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*