Technetium-99m sestamibi tomographic evaluation of residual ischemia after anterior myocardial infarction

Claudio Marcassa, Michele Galli, Pier Luigi Temporelli, Riccardo Campini, Pedro Silva Orrego, Orazio Zoccarato, Amerigo Giordano, Pantaleo Giannuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives.: This study investigated the value of sestamibi scintigraphy in assessing residual ischemia after anterior myocardial infarction. Background.: Serial imaging with sestamibi, the uptake and retention of which correlate with regional myocardial blood flow and viability, has been used to estimate salvaged myocardium and risk area after acute infarction. We recently documented that recovery of perfusion and contraction in the infarcted area may continue well after the subacute phase, suggesting myocardial hibernation. Some underestimation of viability in the setting of hibernating myocardium by sestamibi imaging has been reported. Methods.: We studied 58 patients in stable condition after Q wave anterior infarction. Regional perfusion and function were quantitatively assessed by sestamibi tomography and two-dimensional echocardiography at 4 to 6 weeks and at 7 months after infarction. In sestamibi polar maps, abnormal areas with tracer uptake >2.5 SD below our reference values were computed at rest and after symptom-limited exercise. On two-dimensional echocardiography the ejection fraction and extent of rest wall motion abnormalities were assessed by a computerized system. All patients had coronary angiography between the two studies. Results.: At 7 months the extent of rest sestamibi defect was significantly reduced in 40 patients (69%, group 1) and unchanged in 18 (31%, group 2). Rest wall motion abnormalities and ventricular ejection fraction significantly improved in group 1 but not in group 2. Underlying coronary disease, patency of the infarct-related vessel and rest sestamibi defect extent at 5 weeks were comparable between the two groups. At 7 months, an increase in the reversible (stress-rest defect) tracer defect was observed in group 1 (p <0.05) despite a smaller stress-induced hypoperfusion (p <0.05). Reversible sestamibi defects and stress hypoperfusion were unchanged in group 2. In 38 (95%) of 40 group 1 patients, the area showing reversible sestamibi defects at 7 months matched the area showing fixed hypoperfusion at 5 weeks. Conclusions.: The reduction in the rest tracer uptake defect that can occur late after infarction may affect the assessment of ischemic burden by sestamibi imaging early after anterior myocardial infarction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-596
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Nursing(all)


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