Predictive value of incidental right ventricular abnormalities identified on SPECT for mortality and pulmonary hypertension

J Nucl Cardiol. 2022 Aug;29(4):1903-1914. doi: 10.1007/s12350-021-02612-y. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Abstract

Background: The clinical significance of incidentally found RV abnormalities on low-risk SPECT studies is not well-defined. The objective of this study was to determine the predictive value of incidental right ventricular (RV) abnormalities identified on single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans for mortality and pulmonary hypertension (PH).

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed all low-risk SPECT studies in patients without known coronary artery or pulmonary vascular disease, performed at our institution, from 2007-2020. Adjusted Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate the association between incidental RV abnormalities on low-risk SPECT studies and outcomes.

Results: Of the 4761 patients included in the analysis, mortality events were present in 494, and echocardiographic PH was present in 619. Incidental RV abnormalities on low-risk SPECT studies were significantly and independently associated with all-cause mortality (HR = 1.41, CI [1.07-1.86], P = 0.0152) and echocardiographic PH (HR = 2.06, CI [1.64-2.60], P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: These data suggest incidental RV abnormalities found on low-risk SPECT imaging studies are significantly and independently associated with increased mortality and risk of developing echocardiographic PH, and could identify high-risk patients for closer monitoring and additional diagnostic testing.

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / complications
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / complications
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / diagnostic imaging
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right* / diagnostic imaging
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right* / etiology
  • Ventricular Function, Right