Diagnostic performance of White Blood Cell SPECT imaging against intra-operative findings in patients with a suspicion of prosthetic valve endocarditis

J Nucl Cardiol. 2021 Jun 3. doi: 10.1007/s12350-021-02674-y. Online ahead of print.


Aim: The objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of white blood cells (WBC)-SPECT imaging in patients with suspicion of prosthetic valve endocarditis (PVE) against intra-operative findings.

Methods: 36 consecutive patients who underwent cardiac surgery 30 days after WBC-SPECT imaging were identified retrospectively. Clinical, imaging, and biological results were collected from reports. WBC-SPECT results were classified as positive or negative and, if positive, the intensity of signal graded as intense or mild. Lesions observed during cardiac surgery were collected from surgeons' reports.

Results: The 20 patients with positive WBC-SPECT study had confirmed PVE intra-operatively. Patients with intense signal on WBC-SPECT had high prevalence of abscesses (83%) compared to patients with only mild signal (12%). The three patients with negative WBC-SPECT but confirmed PVE had longer duration of antibiotic treatment before imaging and had no perivalvular abscess. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive and negative values, and accuracy of WBC-SPECT were measured at 87%, 100%, 100%, 81%, and 92%, respectively. Addition of WBC-SPECT results to the modified Duke score helped re-classify correctly 25% of patients from possible to definite PVE.

Conclusion: In patients with suspicion of PVE, WBC-SPECT imaging provides excellent diagnostic performance against intra-operative findings.

Keywords: Abscess; Infection; Intra-operative; Prosthetic valve endocarditis; Scintigraphy; WBC-SPECT; White blood cells.