Combination of ¹²³I-metaiodobenzylguanidine scintigraphy and flow-mediated dilation for the detection of patients with coronary spastic angina

J Nucl Cardiol. 2014 Jun;21(3):643-51. doi: 10.1007/s12350-014-9859-7. Epub 2014 Feb 4.


Background: This study evaluated the usefulness of cardiac sympathetic nerve activity, estimated by (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy, and endothelial function, estimated by flow-mediated dilation (FMD), in the detection of coronary spastic angina (CSA).

Methods and results: We compared 78 consecutive patients suspected of CSA with ten age-matched controls. On the basis of a spasm provocation test with acetylcholine, 53 patients were diagnosed as CSA and 25 patients were considered to have chest-pain syndrome (CPS). The total defect score (TDS) by delayed (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy was significantly higher in both patient groups than in controls (P < 0.05), and was significantly higher in CSA than in CPS patients (P = 0.02). The heart/mediastinum activity (H/M) ratio by delayed (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy and FMD were significantly lower in both patient groups than in controls (P < 0.05), and were lower in CSA than in CPS patients (P = 0.04). In receiver-operating curve analysis, the areas under the curve for TDS, H/M, and FMD were 0.78, 0.72, and 0.70, respectively. The combination of delayed (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy and FMD showed a higher diagnostic value than either method alone.

Conclusions: (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy and FMD can distinguish CSA patients among patients complaining of chest pain at rest, with good sensitivity and specificity.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine*
  • Acetylcholine*
  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Stenosis / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Vasospasm / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine
  • Acetylcholine