The independent value of exercise thallium scintigraphy to physicians.
To determine the effect of exercise myocardial scintigraphy with thallium-201 on diagnostic accuracy and the need for coronary angiography, consecutive patients with a variety of clinical presentations were identified. Clinical summaries, including a detailed history, physical examination, and complete data from a standard treadmill exercise test, were presented to 91 cardiologists. The cardiologists assessed the probability of coronary disease and the need for coronary angiography. They were then presented the results of thallium scintigraphy and revised their assessments if warranted. Scintigraphy significantly increased the cardiologists' diagnostic accuracy beyond that attained with other clinical information (p less than 0.0001). The change in accuracy varied from + 4% to + 20% in different patient groups, and was greatest in patients with atypical angina and a positive exercise ECG. Ratings of the need for coronary angiography changed from -13% to +21% in different patient groups. We conclude that exercise thallium scintigraphy can provide independent diagnostic information and influence the need for coronary angiography.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association