Comparison of SPECT using technetium-99m agents and thallium-201 and PET for the assessment of myocardial perfusion and viability

Am J Cardiol. 1990 Oct 16;66(13):72E-79E. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(90)90616-9.


This report reviews the applications of tomographic imaging with current and new tracers in assessing myocardial perfusion and viability. Multiple studies with thallium-201 (TI-201) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging for the detection of coronary artery disease (CAD) have demonstrated high sensitivity, high rates of normalcy and high reproducibility. In assessing viability, fixed defects are frequently detected in viable zones in 4-hour studies with TI-201 imaging. Redistribution imaging performed 18 to 72 hours after injection or reinjection of TI-201 before 4-hour redistribution imaging has been shown to improve accuracy of viability assessment. TI-201 SPECT studies are limited by the suboptimal physical properties of TI-201, which result in variable image quality. The 2 new technetium-99m (Tc-99m) - labeled myocardial perfusion tracers offer the ability to inject much higher amounts of radioactivity, making it possible to assess ventricular function as well as myocardial perfusion from the same injection of radiotracer. Tc-99m sestamibi has very slow myocardial clearance, which allows for prolonged imaging time and results in image quality superior to that obtained with TI-201 and Tc-99m teboroxime. The combination of minimal redistribution of Tc-99m sestamibi and high count rates makes gated SPECT imaging feasible, and also permits assessment of patients with acute ischemic syndromes by uncoupling the time of injection from the time of imaging. The combination of high image quality and first-pass exercise capabilities may lead to a choice of this agent over TI-201 for assessment of chronic CAD.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Deoxyglucose / analogs & derivatives
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Nitriles*
  • Organotechnetium Compounds*
  • Oximes*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi
  • Thallium Radioisotopes*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Nitriles
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Oximes
  • Thallium Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi
  • Deoxyglucose
  • technetium Tc 99m teboroxime