Polarity status of trigger signal during ECG-gating affects parameters of LV function in gated myocardial perfusion SPECT

J Nucl Cardiol. 2021 May 25. doi: 10.1007/s12350-021-02675-x. Online ahead of print.


Introduction and background: The polarity status is one of the important items of specifications of trigger signal from cardiac trigger monitors with two options, either positive or negative. Some systems allow the user to set the polarity of trigger signal before imaging. Efforts should be made to set the polarity status according to the recommendations provided by the manufacturers. In case of inappropriate selection, changes in computation of end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes as well as ejection fraction may occur.

Objective: To investigate the effect of the polarity status of trigger signals in synchronization process during 8- and 16-frame gated SPECT imaging on the systolic and diastolic parameters of LV function.

Methods: Thirty-four patients referred for a myocardial perfusion SPECT were consecutively included in the study. The rest scan for each patient was performed with 8- and 16-frame gating simultaneously with positive trigger signal set by the operator in a cardiac trigger monitor and then repeated after manual selection of negative polarity. In total, the 4 imaging modes acquired were 8-frame/positive-trigger, 16-frame/positive-trigger, 8-frame/negative-trigger, and 16-frame/negative-trigger. All SPECT images were reconstructed and processed with the same values of parameters. Systolic and diastolic indices of LV function were derived in QGS of the Cedars-Sinai software and then were compared using various statistical tests, and a reliability analysis was also performed.

Results: The age of patients recruited in the study was 58.41 ± 8.94, and 16 (47.1%) males and 18 (52.9%) females. All the correlation coefficients between corresponding parameters in positive and negative trigger signals were statistically significant. The difference between the parameters of systolic function including EF, EDV, and ESV in positive and negative trigger signals was statistically significant in paired sample t test. Likewise, a statistically significant difference was also found between mean phase angle in scans with positive and negative trigger signals by a phase difference of 147.91 (41.0% of an average cardiac cycle) and 149 (41.3% of an average cardiac cycle) degrees in 8- and 16-frame gating modes, respectively. Strong agreement (according to high values of intra-class correlation coefficient) was found for all four pairs. According to Bland-Altman results, an offset of about 3 percentage units was found, both between imaging in 8-frame gating compared to 16-frame gating, higher value in favor of 16-frame gating, and also between imaging with positive polarity trigger compared to negative-polarity trigger, again higher value in favor of positive-polarity triggering.

Conclusion: The status of the polarity of trigger signals or similar CTM-camera delays in synchronization process during 8- and 16-frame gated SPECT imaging can be considered as one of the factors that may influence systolic and diastolic indices of LV function.

Keywords: LV function; Trigger signal polarity; gating; myocardial perfusion SPECT; reliability analysis.