Integration of quantitative absolute myocardial blood flow estimates from dynamic CZT-SPECT improves the detection of coronary artery disease

J Nucl Cardiol. 2021 Jul 8. doi: 10.1007/s12350-021-02713-8. Online ahead of print.


Background: Balanced ischemia with multi-vessel coronary artery disease (CAD) is difficult to diagnose with semiquantitative single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI). Dynamic cardiac SPECT provides quantitative estimations of stenosis severity and ischemic burden by assessing myocardial flow reserve (MFR) and myocardial blood flow (MBF). The aim of this study was to evaluate the incremental value of dynamic SPECT in multi-vessel coronary artery disease (CAD).

Methods: Patients with suspected CAD who underwent dynamic ECG-gated dipyridamole MPI and coronary angiography within 6 months were retrospectively reviewed. The performance of summed stress, rest and difference scores (SSS, SRS, SDS), post-stress and resting MBF (MBFs, MBFr) and MFR were compared at both patient level and vessel level.

Results: In 32 patients with 39 stenotic vessels, 12 had three-vessel disease (38%). Globally increased SSS and impaired MBF values were significantly associated with significant CAD at the patient level, but SDS and MFR were not. Regional increases in SSS and reductions in both MBFs and MBFr were significantly associated with stenotic vessels. The best cutoff value of global MBFs to predict CAD was 3.5 ml·g-1·min-1 (area under the curve, AUC = .84, P = .002). The best cutoff value of regional MBFs to detect significant stenosis was 3.6 ml·g-1·min-1 (AUC = .74, P < .001). However, the best possible cut-off values of MFR were not found. Sex-difference in both global and regional MBFr but MBFs was found, which might result in the non-significance in MFR.

Conclusions: This study validated a clinically available method to quantify MFR using dynamic CZT-SPECT. This method improved the detectability of multi-vessel CAD, and absolute MBFs was superior to MFR and other semiquantitative MPI parameters.

Keywords: CZT camera; Coronary artery disease; Myocardial perfusion imaging; Quantitative myocardial blood flow.