Indium-111 monoclonal antimyosin cardiac scintigraphy in suspected acute myocarditis: evolution and diagnostic impact

Int J Cardiol. 2003 Aug;90(2-3):239-45. doi: 10.1016/s0167-5273(02)00555-7.


Background: This study examined the evolution of the heart to lung (H/L) ratio of monoclonal antimyosin antibody (MAA) uptake in patients with suspected acute myocarditis (AM) and its time-dependent diagnostic value in conjunction with echocardiographic findings.

Methods: The study included 20 patients with a short history (<4 months) of heart failure symptoms and normal coronary arteries. All patients underwent cardiac antimyosin scintigraphy, echocardiography, right-heart catheterization and endomyocardial biopsy. Patients who survived beyond 1 year were reevaluated with a cardiac antimyosin scintigraphy and an echocardiographic study.

Results: Endomyocardial biopsy in 8/20 patients revealed findings compatible with the diagnosis of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (group I) and in the remaining 12/20 was diagnostic of AM (group II). At baseline evaluation of the antimyosin H/L ratio uptake was similar in groups I and II, at 1.95+/-0.19 and 2.16+/-0.51, respectively (P=0.222), while the left ventricular end diastolic diameter (LVEDd) was significantly higher in group I (68+/-12 mm) than in group II (56+/-11 mm, P=0.041). In these patients an initial positive MAA scintigraphy (H/L ratio>1.55) associated with an LVEDd<or=62 mm was diagnostic of AM with a sensitivity of 67%, a specificity of 63% and a positive predictive value of 65%. Upon restudy, the H/L ratio of MAA uptake was significantly decreased in both groups, reaching almost identical levels. No difference was found in the LVEDd between the two groups. The positivity of cardiac antimyosin scintigraphy in conjunction with an LVEDd<or=62 mm had a sensitivity of 45% and a specificity of 88% for the diagnosis of myocarditis.

Conclusions: In patients with suspected AM a positive antimyosin scintigraphy accompanied by a non-dilated left ventricle is highly suggestive of AM, both at the early phase and 1 year after disease onset.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indium Radioisotopes*
  • Male
  • Myocarditis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Myocarditis / immunology
  • Myosins / immunology*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Indium Radioisotopes
  • Myosins