Thallium-201 uptake in variant angina: probable demonstration of myocardial reactive hyperemia in man.
Myocardial thallium scintigraphy was performed in four subjects with variant angina and in one subject with isolated, fixed coronary obstruction. Three subjects with variant angina had short episodes of ischemic ST-segment elevation that lasted 20--100 seconds. Thallium scintigrams demonstrated excess uptake in regions judged to be ischemic by angiographic and electrocardiographic criteria. Two subjects, one with variant angina and the other with a fixed coronary lesion, had prolonged episodes of ischemia that lasted 390--900 seconds. Both had reduced thallium uptake in the ischemic regions. We conclude that myocardial reactive hyperemia is the cause of excess thallium uptake in patients with variant angina who have short episodes of myocardial ischemia.
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