Coronary Artery Disease| Volume 114, ISSUE 10, P1512-1517, November 15, 2014

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Comparing Changes in Severe Versus Mild Perfusion Defect Size in Patients Who Underwent Serial Rubidium-82 Positron Emission Tomography Myocardial Perfusion Imaging

      Serial myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) is valuable for assessing coronary disease progression and treatment efficacy. Previous serial MPI studies emphasized severe perfusion defects, with no attention given to milder perfusion defects. Thus, this study sought to compare and identify predictors of change in severe versus mild perfusion defect size in patients who underwent serial positron emission tomography (PET) MPI. Serial PET MPI was performed in 551 patients with an average of 1.9 years between scans. Severe and mild perfusion defect size at both PETs were derived from automated software as percentage of left ventricular mass with relative tracer activity <60% (severe) and between 61% and 80% of maximum tracer activity (mild), respectively. Predictors of change in severe and mild perfusion defect size between PETs were determined. Overall, severe perfusion defect sizes improved (p <0.001) and mild perfusion defect sizes worsened (p <0.001) between PETs with individual changes being highly variable. In individuals with negligible changes in severe defect size (±2%), changes in mild defect size ranged from a worsening of 47% to an improvement of 48% of left ventricular mass. The strongest predictors of change in severe defect size were indicators of obstructive coronary disease including interval myocardial infarction, interval revascularization, history of myocardial infarction, and history of bypass surgery. Strong predictors of change in mild defect size were cardiac risk factors including male gender, body mass index, diabetes, and smoking. In conclusion, changes in mild perfusion defects may provide valuable secondary information for evaluating treatment efficacy in patients who underwent serial MPI.
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