Relationship between segmental thallium-201 uptake and regional myocardial blood flow in patients with coronary artery disease.
The relationship between the spatial distribution of thallium-201 in myocardial perfusion scintigrams and the distribution of left ventricular regional myocardial blood flow was examined in 25 patients undergoing coronary arteriography. Thallium-201 myocardial scintigrams were obtained after symptom-limited exercise and after a 4 hr delay. Regional myocardial blood flow was measured by the xenon-133 clearance method in patients at rest and during rapid atrial pacing to a double product comparable with that achieved during exercise stress testing. Patterns of regional thallium-201 activity and regional myocardial blood flow, recorded in similar left anterior oblique projections, were compared for left ventricular segments supplied by the left anterior descending (LAD) and left circumflex (CIRC) arteries. In 11 patients without significant lesions of the left coronary artery (group 1), thallium-201 was homogeneously distributed in the LAD and CIRC distributions in scintigrams taken during peak exercise; these scintigrams correspond to homogeneous regional myocardial blood flow in the LAD and CIRC regions during pacing-induced stress. In 14 patients with significant lesions of the left coronary artery (group 2), ratios of regional thallium-201 activity in the LAD and CIRC distributions of exercise scintigrams correlated well (r = .84) with ratios of regional myocardial blood flow measured during rapid pacing. Background subtraction altered the relationship between relative thallium-201 uptake and regional myocardial blood flow, causing overestimation of the magnitude of flow reduction on exercise scintigrams. These data indicate that: (1) in patients with normal left coronary arteries, thallium-201 is homogeneously distributed to the left ventricle, reflecting the homogeneous distribution of regional myocardial blood flow over a wide range of mean left ventricular flow rates and (2) in patients with significant lesions of the left coronary artery, the relative spatial distribution of thallium-201 activity in exercise perfusion scintigrams reflects the distribution of regional myocardial blood flow.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association