Factors that affect the reproducibility of measurements of left ventricular function from first-pass radionuclide ventriculograms.
To examine which factors affect the reproducibility of ejection fraction (EF), pulmonary transit time (PTT) and segmental wall motion assessed from first-pass radionuclide angiograms (FPRA), 32 patients who had FPRA were randomized for site of injection of isotope (right or left arm) and projection (right or left anterior oblique [RAO or LAO]). The quality of injected bolus was measured from the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the bolus time-activity curve in the superior vena cava. All patients had two sequential studies on each of two consecutive days, and each study was analyzed independently by two observers. For EF, inter- and intraobserver correlations ranged from 0.94-0.98. EF was higher in the RAO than the LAO projection (mean 47.4% vs 40.3%, p less than 0.001), but neither injection site nor bolus FWHM affected the results. For PTT, interobserver correlations ranged from 0.75-0.93 and intraobserver correlations from 0.61-0.85. Variability in PTT was large, and inter- and intraobserver variabilities were directly related to bolus FWHM (mean 0.60 +/- 0.21 second for interobserver differences in PTT of less than 2.0 seconds, mean 1.55 +/- 0.86 seconds for interobserver differences in PTT of greater than 2 seconds [p less than 0.005]). Differences in FWHM between sequential studies were 0.28 +/- 0.29 second when intraobserver differences in PTT were less than 2 seconds and 1.04 +/- 0.67 seconds when differences in PTT were greater than 2.0 seconds (p less than 0.005). Variations in PTT were not related to differences in projection or injection site. Wall motion was highly reproducible for both projections. In the RAO projection, one of 116 anterior segments (0.9%), one of 116 apical segments (0.9%), and four of 116 inferior segments (3%) were judged normal from one observer's images and abnormal from another. In the LAO view, discrepancies occurred in one of 126 septal segments (0.8%), two of 126 apical segments (1.6%) and four of 126 posterolateral segments (3%). This study shows that EF and wall motion are highly reproducible in any projection, but the choice of projection significantly affects the values for EF from FPRA. PTT measurements are less reliable, highly bolus dependent, and their use in clinical practice depends on quality control of the bolus of injected radionuclide.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association