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Usefulness of electrocardiographic-gated stress technetium-99m sestamibi single-photon emission computed tomography to differentiate ischemic from nonischemic cardiomyopathy

      Abstract

      The noninvasive differentiation between ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy is frequently difficult. We examined the clinical value of stress electrocardiographic gated (ECG-gated) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to identify ischemic cardiomyopathy and detect coronary artery disease (CAD) in 164 patients without known CAD, ejection fraction ≤40% by ECG-gated SPECT, and subsequent coronary angiography. Summed stress, rest, and difference scores were measured from the SPECT studies, and regional wall motion variance was calculated from the ECG-gated images. Sensitivity and 95% confidence intervals for the diagnosis of ischemic cardiomyopathy and for detection of any CAD (>50% diameter stenosis) were estimated using previously defined cutoffs for summed stress score and regional wall motion variance. For the diagnosis of ischemic cardiomyopathy, sensitivity of stress SPECT (summed stress score >8) was 87% (95% confidence interval [CI] 78 to 95), with a specificity of 63% (95% CI 60 to 82). The addition of wall motion information (summed stress score >8 or regional wall motion variance >0.114) increased sensitivity to 88% (95% CI 80 to 96) and decreased specificity to 45% (95% CI 35 to 55). If reversibility was also taken into account (summed stress score >8, regional wall motion variance >0.114, or summed difference score >0), sensitivity further increased to 94% (95% CI 88 to 100) and specificity decreased to 32% (95% CI 23 to 41). For detection of any CAD, the combined approach using stress perfusion, reversibility, and region of wall motion had a sensitivity of 94% (95% CI 89 to 99) and a specificity of 45% (95% CI 35 to 57). Therefore, ECG-gated SPECT is very sensitive for detection of ischemic cardiomyopathy and CAD among patients with moderate to severe systolic dysfunction.
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