We investigated whether poststress gated SPECT, which was believed to show resting wall motion, revealed stunning induced by dipyridamole stress.
Methods: In 62 patients with coronary artery disease (n = 57) or chest pain (n = 5), dipyridamole stress gated 99mTc-hexakis-2-methoxyisobutyl isonitrile (MIBI) SPECT and rest 201Tl SPECT were performed on the first day; 24-h delayed 201Tl SPECT and rest gated 99mTc-MIBI SPECT were performed on the second day. Stress and rest gated 99mTc-MIBI SPECT was performed 1 h after injection. The myocardium was divided into 17 segments, and perfusion was scored on a 4-point scoring system (scores, 0-3 for normal to defect); wall motion during first-day poststress gated and second-day rest gated SPECT was also scored on another 4-point scale (scores, 0-3 for normal to dyskinesia).
Results: Thirty-one of 62 patients showed wall motion abnormality that was worse after stress than during resting. Three hundred eight (29%) of the total 1054 segments showed wall motion abnormality on poststress gated SPECT. In 198 of these segments, wall motion abnormality was the same on poststress and rest gated SPECT, and 106 segments showed wall motion that was worse on 1-h poststress than on rest gated SPECT. Perfusion was normal either during rest (n = 113) or after a 24-h delay (n = 18) in 131 segments with the poststress wall motion abnormality. Of these 131 segments, 69 showed the same wall motion abnormality between poststress and resting periods (persistent stunning). However, in 40 segments, abnormal wall motion on 1-h poststress gated SPECT normalized on rest gated SPECT (transient prolonged stunning). The other 20 segments showed improvement of wall motion during rest compared with the poststress period but still showed abnormal wall motion during the resting period (between transient prolonged stunning and persistent stunning). Stress perfusion decrease was more severe in transient prolonged stunning than in persistent stunning. Poststress wall motion abnormality was more severe in persistent stunning.
Conclusion: Using gated 99mTc-MIBI SPECT, stunned myocardium was found on 1-h poststress SPECT compared with normal resting wall motion found on rest gated SPECT on the next day. We conclude that some myocardial walls did not show true resting wall motion on 1-h poststress gated SPECT; hence, caution is necessary when using wall motion on 1-h poststress gated SPECT to assess resting wall motion.