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Myocardial scintigraphy with technetium-99m pyrophosphate during the early phase of acute infarction

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      Abstract

      To determine the sensitivity of myocardial scintigraphy with techne-tium-99m pyrophosphate during the early phase of acute myocardial infarction, 31 patients admitted to the coronary care unit with prolonged ischemic pain underwent imaging within 4 to 8 hours and again at 24 hours after the onset of symptoms. In 11 of 15 patients with documented acute myocardial infarction, increased focal myocardial uptake was demonstrated on early myocardial scintigraphy. Focal uptake was observed in only 2 of 16 patients with unstable angina pectoris. Three of four patients with normal early scintigrams had massive transmural myocardial infarction. Normal early scintigrams in these three patients may have reflected poor perfusion because the images were abnormal at 24 hours. In four patients the extent of technetium-99m pyrophosphate uptake increased more than 20 percent at 24 hours without other evidence of infarct extension. In the other seven patients, there was no significant change in the area of the abnormal radioactive uptake between early and delayed scintiscans. This study suggests that technetium-99m pyrophosphate scintigraphy can detect acute myocardial infarction as early as 4 hours after the onset of symptoms although the sensitivity rate (73 percent) is less than that at 24 hours.
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