Noninvasive identification of left main and triple vessel coronary artery disease: improved accuracy using quantitative analysis of regional myocardial stress distribution and washout of thallium-201

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1986 Jan;7(1):53-60. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(86)80259-5.


The capabilities of visual and quantitative analysis of stress redistribution thallium-201 scintigrams, exercise electrocardiography and exercise blood pressure response were compared for correct identification of extensive coronary disease, defined as left main or triple vessel coronary artery disease, or both (50% or more luminal diameter coronary narrowing), in 105 consecutive patients with suspected coronary artery disease. Extensive disease was present in 56 patients and the remaining 49 had either less extensive coronary artery disease (n = 34) or normal coronary arteriograms (n = 15). Although exercise blood pressure response, exercise electrocardiography and visual thallium-201 analysis were highly specific (98, 88 and 96%, respectively), they were insensitive for identification of patients with extensive disease (14, 45 and 16%, respectively). Quantitative thallium-201 analysis significantly improved the sensitivity of visual thallium-201 analysis for identification of patients with extensive disease (from 16 to 63%, p less than 0.001) without a significant loss of specificity (96 versus 86%, p = NS). Eighteen (64%) of the 28 patients who were misclassified by visual analysis as having less extensive disease were correctly classified as having extensive disease by virtue of quantitative analysis of regional myocardial thallium-201 washout. When the results of quantitative thallium-201 analysis were combined with those of blood pressure and electrocardiographic response to exercise, the sensitivity and specificity for identification of patients with extensive disease was 86 and 76%, respectively, and the highest overall accuracy (0.82) was obtained.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Disease / physiopathology
  • Coronary Vessels / diagnostic imaging*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Exercise Test
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radioisotopes*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Stress, Physiological / diagnostic imaging
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Thallium*


  • Radioisotopes
  • Thallium