Sequential thallium-201 myocardial perfusion studies after successful percutaneous transluminal coronary artery angioplasty: delayed resolution of exercise-induced scintigraphic abnormalities.
To characterize the sequential changes of myocardial perfusion scintigraphy in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) after complete revascularization, 43 patients underwent exercise thallium-201 (201Tl) myocardial perfusion scintigraphy before and at 9 +/- 5 days, 3.3 +/- 0.6, and 6.8 +/- 1.2 months after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA). Only patients with single-vessel CAD, without previous myocardial infarction, and without evidence of restenosis at 6 to 9 months after PTCA were included. Perfusion scans were analyzed blindly with the use of a new quantitative method to define regional myocardial perfusion in the topographic distribution of each coronary artery, which was shown to be reproducible (r = .94 or higher and SEE of 7% or less, between repeated measures by one and two operators). At 4 to 18 days after PTCA, the mean treadmill walking time increased by 123 +/- 42 sec, mean exercise-induced ST segment depression decreased by 0.6 +/- 0.3 mm, group maximal heart rate increased by 20 +/- 9 beats/min, and group systolic blood pressure at peak exercise increased by 24 +/- 10 mm Hg, compared with pre-PTCA values (p less than .001). However, no group differences were noted in these variables between the three post-PTCA stages. Myocardial perfusion in the distribution of the affected (dilated) coronary artery, on the other hand, improved progressively. In the 45 degree left anterior oblique view for instance, myocardial perfusion increased at 9 days after PTCA (from 68 +/- 24% before PTCA to 91 +/- 9%, p less than .001) and at 3.3 months after PTCA (101 +/- 8%, p less than .05 vs 9 days after PTCA), but no further significant changes were seen at 6.8 months after PTCA (102 +/- 8%). Similar changes were noted in the other two views. No relationship between minor complications during PTCA and delayed improvement on the 201Tl was observed. Myocardial ischemia was diagnosed in 12 of the 43 scans recorded a few days after PTCA, but in none recorded at later stages. We conclude that 201Tl scans after PTCA often show delayed improvement and therefore, an abnormal myocardial perfusion scan soon after PTCA does not necessarily reflect residual coronary stenosis or recurrence.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association