Detection and quantitation of right ventricular reversible perfusion defects by stress SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging: A proof-of-principle study

Academic Article


  • Background: In patients with right dominant coronary circulation, the right ventricular (RV) myocardium and the inferior region of the left ventricular (LV) myocardium share a common source of blood flow. We hypothesized that stress/rest SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) could detect reversible perfusion defects in the RV in some patients with LV inferior wall perfusion abnormalities. Material and Methods: We identified 2 groups of patients with LV inferior wall perfusion defects (with or without defects in other regions of LV myocardium) from our database. Patients in group 1 (n = 17) had reversible perfusion defects in the RV free wall by visual analysis, while patients in group 2 (n = 17) did not. The images were processed with filtered back projection and, separately, with iterative reconstruction. The images were then re-processed using an automated quantitative software that is specifically designed to include the RV in the region of interest. Results: There were 76% men in group 1 and 94% in group 2 (P <0.05). The mean age was 65±20 in group 1 vs. 63±18 years in group 2 (P < 0.05). The stress type was exercise in 30% in group 1 and 35% in group 2, with the remaining patients studied with pharmacological stress testing (P = NS). The presence of RV reversible perfusion defects using filtered back projection was more evident in 13 patients (75%), while it was better seen with iterative reconstruction in 4 patients (25%). By automated analysis, the RV reversible perfusion defect size was 19 ± 14% of RV myocardium. Conclusion: This proof-of-principle study demonstrates that reversible RV perfusion defects suggestive of ischemia can be detected by SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging in some patients with LV inferior ischemia by visual analysis and can be quantitated by automated programs. Further studies on the diagnostic and prognostic relevance of assessing RV ischemia on SPECT MPI are needed.
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    Author List

  • Farag AA; Heo J; Tauxe L; Bhambhvani P; Germano G; Kavanagh P; Iskandrian AE; Hage FG
  • Start Page

  • 266
  • End Page

  • 271
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 1