Background: For assessment of cardiac sympathetic nervous activity, the conventional protocol for iodine-123-metaiodobenzylguanidine ((123)I-MIBG) imaging requires several hours.
Methods and results: To establish whether it is possible to shorten the conventional (123)I-MIBG imaging protocol, anterior planar imaging was performed in 42 heart failure (HF) patients at 5, 15 and 180 min. The washout rate of (123)I-MIBG from 5 to 15 min (WR5-15 min) was calculated as a novel index. WR5-15 min closely correlated with the conventional washout rate and inversely correlated with the heart to mediastinum ratio. Univariate Cox analysis revealed that rapid WR5-15 min, augmented plasma B-type natriuretic peptide level, and decreased left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) were predictors for cardiac events. Multivariate analysis showed WR5-15 min and LVEF were independent predictors. The cardiac event rate was markedly higher (73%) in patients when both WR5-15 min and LVEF were abnormal.
Conclusions: WR5-15 min obtained from anterior planar imaging is useful for evaluating the severity of HF and clinical outcome, and may shorten the cardiac (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy protocol.