The clinical meaning of gastric-wall hyperactivity observed on sestamibi cardiac single-photon emission computed tomography

Can Assoc Radiol J. 2004 Jun;55(3):178-83.


Objective: To evaluate prospectively the incidence and clinical meaning, if any, of gastric-wall hyperactivity observed on sestamibi cardiac single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). This phenomenon is completely different from the well-known intraluminal gastric reflux of sestamibi.

Methods: A group of 819 patients who underwent sestamibi cardiac SPECT was studied from January 2000 to October 2000. Gastric-wall activity was graded qualitatively. Only patients with gastric-wall activity near or equivalent to their heart activity were considered for subsequent analysis. The medical records of patient candidates were reviewed, and their family physicians were asked to respond to a questionnaire by telephone when further information was needed.

Results: We identified 13 patients with significant gastric-wall hyperactivity, which was more intense on rest images. Our review of the clinical data shows that all these patients were suffering from dyspepsia and were taking gastric medication. These 13 cases were assigned to 3 groups: gastroesophageal reflux, chronic functional dyspepsia and nonspecific gastritis. Significant gastric-wall hyperactivity is an infrequent observation on sestamibi cardiac SPECT. Our results indicate that the presence of significant gastric-wall hyperactivity is associated with dyspepsia.

Conclusion: It is important to realize that this gastric-wall hyperactivity by its proximity to the inferior myocardial wall could in some circumstances lead to either false-negative or false-positive findings, representing a diagnostic problem. Although infrequent, this situation could be avoided by proper quality control, including a systematic review of the raw cine data before reading the images.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Dyspepsia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Stomach / diagnostic imaging*
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi