Clinical and physiologic evidence indicates that maximal coronary vasodilation is not achieved in a large number of patients with use of the standard dose of dipyridamole (0.56 mg/kg body weight over 4 min). The feasibility, safety and accuracy of technetium-99m hexakis 2-methoxy-2-isobutyl isonitrile (Sestamibi) scintigraphy associated with intravenous high dose dipyridamole (0.56 mg/kg over 4 min followed 4 min later by an additional 0.28 mg/kg over 2 min) were evaluated in a multicenter study. Planar myocardial perfusion images were obtained at rest and after dipyridamole in 101 patients with effort chest pain and no prior myocardial infarction. High dose dipyridamole (62 patients) was used when typical chest pain or electrocardiographic (ECG) signs of ischemia, or both, did not occur during or after the standard dose (39 patients). With high dose dipyridamole, 34 patients had pain (18 patients) or ECG signs of ischemia (ST depression ≥2 mm) (8 patients), or both (8 patients), whereas the other 28 patients had Sestamibi injection in the absence of symptoms or ECG changes. All patients underwent coronary angiography: 81 had significant coronary artery disease (≥50% reduction of lumen diameter) (affecting one vessel in 38, two vessels in 19 and three vessels in 24 patients) and 20 patients had normal coronary arteries. The overall sensitivity, specificity and predictive accuracy of Sestamibi scintigraphy were 81%, 90% and 83%, respectively. No significant hypotension, ventricular arrhythmias or other serious adverse reactions occurred in any of the patients tested with the high dose dipyridamole; minor side effects occurred in 52% and 57% of patients at standard and high dose dipyridamole, respectively, and were well tolerated in all. In conclusion, Sestamibi scintigraphy associated with high dose dipyridamole is an accurate method of evaluating suspected ischemic heart disease in patients; it did not result in an increased number of side effects as compared with those associated with the standard dose protocol.
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