Predicting recovery of severe regional ventricular dysfunction. Comparison of resting scintigraphy with 201Tl and 99mTc-sestamibi

James E. Udelson, Patrick S. Coleman, Jeanne Metherall, Natesa G. Pandian, Alvaro R. Gomez, John L. Griffith, Nancie L. Shea, Elizabeth Oates, Marvin A. Konstam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

401 Scopus citations


Background: Regional 201Tl activity after resting injection, imaged early and after redistribution, reflects viable myocardium and can predict improved isotope uptake as well as regional and global ventricular function after revascularization. 99mTc-sestamibi, a perfusion tracer with favorable imaging characteristics, has distinct kinetics compared with 201Tl, demonstrating minimal redistribution; this property may give 201Tl an advantage for detecting viable myocardium, particularly in segments with resting hypoperfusion. The purpose of this study was to compare regional activities of 201Tl and 99mTc-sestamibi after resting injections in patients with coronary artery disease and regional or global left ventricular dysfunction and to assess their comparative abilities for predicting recovery of severe regional ventricular dysfunction after revascularization. Methods and Results: Qualitative and quantitative comparisons of rest and redistribution 201Tl activity and sestamibi activity 1 hour after rest injection were performed in 31 patients with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction. Quantitative analysis of three short-axis tomograms per patient was performed by use of circumferential profiles that allowed analysis of 12 segments per patient. Two-dimensional echocardiography was used to assess wall motion and thickening in segments corresponding to the single photon emission computed tomography data. Concordance between regional 201Tl activity at redistribution imaging and regional sestamibi activity by semiquantitative visual analysis demonstrated concordant regional activity in 87% of segments; among discordant segments, no significant skew was seen, indicating enhanced uptake of one agent over the other. Quantitative analysis for all segments showed significant correlation (r=.86, P<.001) between quantitative regional 201Tl redistribution activity and 1-hour post-rest injection sestamibi activity in individual segments. Eighteen of these patients were revascularized, and echocardiography was repeated 20±16 days later; segments exhibiting significant regional ventricular dysfunction before revascularization were classified as having reversible or irreversible dysfunction on the basis of the change in wall motion and thickening. 201Tl and sestamibi regional activities were similar in those segments with reversible (72±11% [percent of peak activity] versus 75±9%, respectively, P=NS) as well as irreversible ventricular dysfunction (51±11% versus 50±8%, P=NS). Positive (75% versus 80% for 201Tl and sestamibi, respectively) and negative (92% versus 96%, respectively) predictive values for recovery of regional ventricular dysfunction after revascularization were similar for the two agents. Conclusions: In patients with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction, quantified sestamibi activity 1 hour after rest injection parallels redistribution 201Tl activity after a resting injection, suggesting that uptake and subsequent handling of sestamibi are more complex than can be explained by a pure flow tracer with no redistribution. Quantitative analysis of regional activities of both 201Tl and sestamibi after resting injections can differentiate viable from nonviable myocardium, and the two agents comparably predict reversibility of significant regional wall motion abnormalities after revascularization in such patients to a similar degree.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2552-2561
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • Myocardium
  • Sestamibi
  • Technetium
  • Thallium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting recovery of severe regional ventricular dysfunction. Comparison of resting scintigraphy with 201Tl and 99mTc-sestamibi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this