Thallium-201 scintigraphy in unstable angina pectoris.
Thallium-201 scintigraphy was performed during the pain free period in 98 patients with unstable angina. Scintiscans were positive in 39 patients, questionable in 27 patients and normal in 32 patients. Eighty-one patients responded favorably to treatment (group I). Seventeen patients had complicated courses (group II) and despite maximal treatment with propranolol either developed infarction (six patients) or continued to have angina necessitating coronary surgery (11 patients). In group I during the pain free period 26 of 81 patients had positive thallium-201 scans, whereas 20 patients had an abnormal ECG at that time; during angina 18 patients had transient ECG changes. In group II during the pain free period 13 of 17 patients had positive scans, whereas two patients had abnormal ECG at that time; during angina 12 patients showed transient ECG changes. The sensitivity to recognize group II was 76% for thallium-201 scintigraphy, 11% for ECG during the pain free period; 70% for ECG during angina; 94% for the combination of either positive scans or abnormal ECG. Thus, 1) positive thallium-201 scans occur in patients with unstable angina, 2) positive scans can be obtained during the pain free period, 3) thallium-201 scans are more frequently positive in patients with complicated course.
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