Atrial Pacing and Thallium 201 Scintigraphy: Combined Use for Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease

Stratmann, Henry G.; Mark, Alexander L.; Walter, Kenneth E.; Fletcher, James W.; Williams, George A.
November 1987
Angiology;Nov1987, Vol. 38 Issue 11, p807
Academic Journal
To evaluate the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD), atrial pacing and thallium 201 scintigraphy were performed in 36 patients with stable angina pectoris who were unable to perform an adequate exercise stress test. All patients underwent cardiac catheterization. Nine patients had previously undergone coronary artery bypass surgery. Significant CAD (one or more lesions ≥ 50%) was present in 33 patients. Atrial pacing produced ischemic ST segment depression (≥ 1 mm) in 18 (55%) patients with CAD, and angina in 20 patients (61%). As the number of vessels with CAD increased, there was no significant change in the sensitivities of pacing-induced angina or ST segment depression for detecting CAD. In the 3 patients without CAD, ST segment depression occurred in 1 patient and angina in none. Thallium 201 scintigraphy demonstrated perfusion defects in 27 (82%) patients with CAD, with fixed defects seen in 13 studies (39%) and reversible defects in 15 (45%). In the 3 patients without CAD, no perfusion defects were seen. The thallium 201 scan successfully predicted the presence of CAD in patients with single-vessel disease but usually underestimated the number of vessels involved in patients with multivessel disease. Combined sensitivity of pacing-induced ST segment depression and an abnormal thallium 201 scan finding for detecting CAD was 91%. The authors conclude that combined atrial pacing and thallium 201 scintigraphy is a useful test for detecting CAD in patients unable to perform an adequate exercise stress test.


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