Background: The value of gated single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in the assessment of wall motion (WM) in patients with severe perfusion defects and in the evaluation of low-dose dobutamine (LDD)-induced changes is not yet established. In patients with chronic coronary artery disease who have left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, the results of nitrate-enhanced technetium 99m sestamibi (sestamibi) gated SPECT for the evaluation of resting and LDD WM were compared with those of baseline and LDD echocardiography (LDDE).
Methods and results: Thirty-seven patients underwent echocardiography and nitrate-enhanced sestamibi gated SPECT within 1 week at rest and during LDD infusion. WM was scored from 1 (normal) to 4 (dyskinetic) by using a 16-segment model. Segments with sestamibi uptake less than 30% were considered unsuitable for WM analysis (36 of 592 segments). Echocardiography was technically unreliable in 10 of 592 segments. The precise agreement between echocardiography and gated SPECT for baseline regional WM was 68.4% (kappa = 0.54), without significant differences for the involved coronary artery territory. The agreement for +/- 1 WM scoring was 96.5% (kappa = 0.94). Contractile reserve during LDD was detected by means of echocardiography in 36% and by means of sestamibi gated SPECT in 33% of baseline asynergic segments. Agreement for detection of WM improvement in response to LDD was 74% (kappa = 0.41). The overall and +/-1 WM score agreement for LDD WM was 67.5% (kappa = 0.50) and 94.7% (kappa = 0.91), respectively. A significant correlation between echocardiography and gated SPECT was observed for both baseline (p = 0.78) and LDD (p = 0.74) WM score index.
Conclusions: In patients with coronary artery disease who have LV dysfunction, nitrate-enhanced sestamibi gated SPECT allows a reliable WM evaluation, both at rest and during LDD infusion, in almost all segments and provides results in agreement with LDDE.