Nuclear medicine in the diagnosis of cardiac contusion

Eur J Nucl Med. 1985;11(8):290-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00252339.


In 16 patients with blunt trauma to the chest, the role of cardiovascular nuclear medicine was evaluated using anterior chest flow assessment, with first-pass ejection fraction of left and right ventricles and 99mTc-pyrophosphate scintigraphy. The radiopharmaceutical used was pyrophosphate, labelled with approximately 20 mCi 99mTc. The anterior chest flow and first-pass ejection fractions were initially obtained during the injection of 99mTc-pyrophosphate and were followed up 3 h later by anterior, LAO 45 degrees, and left lateral views of the chest, using an LFOV gamma camera with a data processor. The results were compared with serial cardiac enzymes studies, electrocardiograms and echocardiograms. Of the patients, 77% showed scintigraphic evidence of cardiac contusion. The intensity of activity varied from grades I to II; five patients had abnormal echocardiographic findings. Only two had abnormal ejection fractions, and one patient had evidence of left ventricular aneurysm along with poor ventricular performance. Cardiac enzymes were found to be the least helpful. Electrocardiograms, though non-specific for myocardial damage, were abnormal in 62% of the patients. Eleven of our patients had both abnormal ECG and increased PYP uptake. Even though there is no agreement as to which noninvasive parameter is more sensitive in the diagnosis of myocardial contusion, 99mTc-pyrophosphate scintigraphy, in conjunction with ECG, seems promising in this respect.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Contusions / diagnostic imaging
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Diphosphates*
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Isoenzymes
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Stroke Volume
  • Technetium Tc 99m Pyrophosphate
  • Technetium*


  • Diphosphates
  • Isoenzymes
  • Technetium Tc 99m Pyrophosphate
  • Technetium
  • Creatine Kinase