Impact of residual subtraction on myocardial blood flow and reserve estimates from rapid dynamic PET protocols

J Nucl Cardiol. 2021 Nov 15. doi: 10.1007/s12350-021-02837-x. Online ahead of print.


Background: 13N-ammonia and 18F-flurpiridaz require longer delays between rest and stress studies to allow for decay, lowering clinical throughput. In this study, we investigated the impact of residual subtraction on MBF and MFR estimates, as well as its effects on diagnostic accuracy.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 63 patients who underwent a dynamic ammonia rest/stress study and 231 patients from the flurpiridaz 301 trial. Residual subtraction was performed by subtracting the mean pre-injection activity in each sampled region from that region's time activity curve. Corrected and uncorrected MBF and MFR were analyzed. Diagnostic accuracy was compared to quantitative coronary angiograms (QCA) for the flurpiridaz population.

Results: With delays between injections above 3 half-lives, and a doubled stress dose, residual activity did not meaningfully increase ammonia MBF (< 5%). For shorter injection delays, stress MBF was overestimated by 13.6% ± 5.0% (P < .001). Residual activity had a large effect on flurpiridaz stress MBF, overestimating it by 37.9% ± 23.2% (P < .001). Comparison to QCA showed a significant improvement in AUC with residual subtraction (from 0.748 to 0.831, P = .001). MFR yielded similar results.

Conclusions: Accounting for residual activity has a marked impact on stress MBF and MFR and improves diagnostic accuracy relative to QCA.

Keywords: MPI; Myocardial blood flow; PET.