Cardiac risk stratification using dipyridamole myocardial perfusion imaging and ambulatory ECG monitoring prior to vascular surgery

Eur J Vasc Surg. 1993 Mar;7(2):151-5. doi: 10.1016/s0950-821x(05)80755-8.


Both dipyridamole myocardial perfusion imaging (cardiolite) and ambulatory ECG monitoring (Holter) for silent ischaemia have been found to be useful for stratification of cardiac risk in patients undergoing vascular surgery. The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of these two non-invasive tests for prediction of perioperative cardiac events. One hundred patients (86 males, 14 females; mean age 67 +/- 8 years) underwent out-patient 48 h Holter monitoring and cardiolite imaging prior to vascular surgery (70 abdominal aortic aneurysm, 21 aortobifemoral, nine femoralpopliteal grafts). Ischaemia on Holter was defined as one or more episodes of ST segment depression 1 mm or greater, lasting 1 min or longer. Myocardial perfusion imaging was carried out with the high dose dipyridamole protocol (0.84 mg/kg), cardiolite and planar imaging. Ischaemia was defined as a segmental perfusion abnormality following dipyridamole with improved perfusion on rest imaging. Holter was positive for ischaemia in 34/100 patients (34%). Cardiolite scans were positive for ischaemia in 30/100 patients (30%). Perioperative myocardial infarction occurred in nine patients (two cardiac deaths). [table: see text] The diagnostic accuracy of the two tests was similar, with a low positive predictive value of 15-20%, and an extremely high negative predictive value of 94-96%. The event rate in patients with both tests negative was 2/48 (4.2%), with only one test positive 3/40 (7.5%) and with both tests positive 4/12 (33%). A reasonable approach to risk stratification would be to obtain either a Holter or cardiolite scan initially.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cause of Death
  • Coronary Circulation / physiology*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control
  • Dipyridamole*
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory* / drug effects
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Preoperative Care
  • Risk Factors
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi*
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Vascular Diseases / surgery*


  • Dipyridamole
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi