Hibernation and myocardial ischemia: Clinical detection by positron emission tomography

Neal G. Uren, Paolo G. Camici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regions of myocardium supplied by severely diseased epicardial arteries may develop chronic ischemia at rest and exhibit reduced contractility, contributing to a reduction in global left ventricular function. However, after revascularization, contractility in these regions may return to normal. These regions of asynergy are described as "hibernating myocardium." Such myocardium in which normal contractility may be restored often coexists with areas of infarcted, or scar, tissue, leading to the definition of hypoperfused hibernating myocardium as viable myocardium. It is important to identify viable myocardium, as revascularization of these areas should lead to the greatest improvement in left ventricular function and, thus, improvement in survival. Positron emission tomography is the best noninvasive method for quantifying regional myocardial blood flow and metabolism. Using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose, which measures myocardial glucose utilization, it is possible to identify myocardial tissue that is hypoperfused at rest with preserved or increased glucose uptake. This mismatch of blood flow to metabolism has a high predictive accuracy in the recovery of contractile function. In order to reduce the need for metabolic imaging in documenting myocardial viability, a regional index of perfusable tissue derived from imaging with 15O water has been recently developed that also allows the quantification of tissue viability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-279
Number of pages7
JournalCardiovascular Drugs and Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1992


  • myocardial blood flow
  • myocardial ischemia
  • myocardial viability
  • positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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