Background: The most widely distributed software packages to compute left ventricular (LV) volume and ejection fraction (EF) from gated perfusion tomograms are QGS and the Emory Cardiac Toolbox (ECTb). Because LV modeling and time sampling differ between the algorithms, it is necessary to document relationships between values produced by them and to establish normal limits individually for each software package in order to interpret results obtained for individual patients.
Methods and results: Gated single photon emission computed tomography technetium 99m sestamibi myocardial perfusion studies were collected and analyzed for 246 patients evaluated for coronary artery disease. QGS and ECTb values of ejection fraction (EF), end-diastolic volume (EDV), and end-systolic volume were found to correlate linearly (r = 0.90, 0.91, and 0.94, respectively), but EF and EDV were significantly lower for QGS than with ECTb (53% +/- 13% vs 61% +/- 13 and 102 +/- 45 mL vs 114 +/- 50 mL, respectively). To compare calculations for healthy subjects between the two software packages, data were also selected for 50 other patients at low likelihood for coronary artery disease, for whom EF and EDV were significantly lower for QGS compared with ECTb (62% +/- 9% vs 67% +/- 8% and 84 +/- 26 mL vs 105 +/- 33 mL, respectively). The ECTb lower limit was 51% for EF and the upper limits were 171 mL for EDV and 59 mL/m(2) for mass-indexed EDV, compared with limits of 44%, 137 mL, and 47 mL/m(2) for QGS.
Conclusions: Although correlations were strong between the two methods of computing LV functional values, statistical scatter was substantial and significant biases and trends observed. Therefore, when both software packages are used at the same site, it will be important to take these differences into consideration and to apply normal limits specific to each set of algorithms.