Imaging of myocardial viability: A head-to-head comparison among nuclear, echocardiographic, and angiographic techniques

P. Marzullo, O. Parodi, E. Picano, G. Sambuceti, B. Reisenhofer, A. Gimelli, A. Distante, A. L'Abbate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between radioisotopic, echocardiographic, and angiographic markers of myocardial viability is still to be defined. To this purpose, 14 patients with previous myocardial infarction were studied using a multiparametric approach. Each patient underwent, on separate days, rest thallium 201 and technetium 99m Sestamibi planar scintigraphy, dobutamine/dipyridamole stress echocardiography, and coronary angiography; 11 of these patients underwent also dipyridamole echocardiographic testing. Thallium 201 and Sestamibi uptakes at rest were expressed as percentage of maximal activity in each projection using a 13 segment model. Dobutamine and dipyridamole stress echocardiography were analyzed using a score index ranging from 1 (normokinesis) to 4 (dyskinesis) and a similar segmentation. Coronary angiography was analyzed by quantitative approach. In all patients, follow-up echocardiography was performed following coronary revascularization. Before revascularization, 75 segments showed regional dyssynergies. Thallium 201 showed the highest sensitivity and specificity in the preoperative identification of viability, whereas Sestamibi was affected by a significant number of false-negative studies. Among echocardiographic techniques, dobutamine was slightly superior to dipyridamole in the detection of viable segments. The degree of coronary stenosis failed to predict the recovery of function following by-pass graft or angioplasty in almost all segments; however, in case of occlusion, most viable segments were perfused by adequately collateralized coronary arteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiac Imaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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