Objectives: This study sought to evaluate an imaging approach using technetium-99m sestamibi scintigraphy and positron emission tomography with fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose for assessment of myocardial viability proved by serial quantitative left ventricular angiography. Furthermore, the influence of successful long-term revascularization on functional recovery was studied.
Background: Previous studies using positron emission tomography of myocardial perfusion and metabolism have demonstrated accurate identification of myocardial viability. However, most of these studies used a qualitative or semiquantitative wall motion analysis approach.
Methods: Nuclear imaging with semiquantitative analysis of tracer uptake was performed in 193 patients with regional wall motion abnormalities. Regions were categorized as normal, viable with perfusion/metabolism mismatch, viable without mismatch (intermediate) and scar. Seventy-two of 103 patients with subsequent revascularization underwent follow-up angiography. In 52 of 72 patients, changes in regional wall motion were measured by the centerline method from serial angiography.
Results: Wall motion improved in mismatch regions from -2.2 +/- 1.0 to -1.1 +/- 1.4 SD (p < 0.001). In contrast, regions with an intermediate pattern and those with scar did not improve. Restenosis or graft occlusion influenced functional outcome because regions with preoperative mismatch and successful long-term revascularization improved at follow-up (from -2.3 +/- 1.0 to -0.8 +/- 1.4 SD, p < 0.001), whereas wall motion did not change with recurrent hypoperfusion. Metabolic imaging added diagnostic information, particularly in regions with mild and moderate perfusion defects.
Conclusions: This imaging approach allows detection of viability in regions with myocardial dysfunction. Wall motion benefits most in myocardium with perfusion/metabolism mismatch and successful long-term revascularization.