Quantitative blood flow evaluation of vasodilation-stress compared with dobutamine-stress in patients with end-stage liver disease using 82Rb PET/CT

  • Jonathan T. AbeleEmail author
  • Monique Raubenheimer
  • Vincent G. Bain
  • Greg Wandzilak
  • Naji AlHulaimi
  • Richard Coulden
  • Robert A. deKemp
  • Ran Klein
  • Randall G. Williams
  • Robert S. Warshawski
  • Lucille D. Lalonde
Original Article



Our aim was to determine if end-stage liver disease (ESLD) is associated with an attenuated response to vasodilator-stress or dobutamine-stress using 82Rb-PET MPI with blood flow quantification.

Methods and Results

Pre-liver transplant patients who had a normal dipyridamole-stress (n = 27) or dobutamine-stress (n = 26) 82Rb PET/CT MPI study with no identifiable coronary artery calcium were identified retrospectively and compared to a prospectively identified low-risk of liver disease dipyridamole-stress control group (n = 20). The dipyridamole-stress liver disease group had a lower myocardial flow reserve (MFR) (1.89 ± 0.79) than the control group (2.79 ± 0.96, P < .05). The dobutamine-stress group had a higher MFR than both other groups (3.69 ± 1.49, P < .05). A moderate negative correlation between MELD score and MFR was demonstrated for the dipyridamole-stress liver disease group (r = − 0.473, P < .05). This correlation was not observed for the dobutamine-stress liver disease group (r = − 0.253, P = .21). The liver failure group as a whole (n = 53) had a higher resting myocardial blood flow (0.97 ± 0.33 mL/min/g) than the control group (0.82 ± 0.26, P < .05).


Dipyridamole demonstrates an attenuated vasodilatory response in ESLD patients compared to a non-ESLD control group related to higher resting blood flow and comparatively reduced stress blood flow. Dobutamine does not demonstrate this effect implying it may be the preferred pharmacologic MPI stress agent for ESLD patients.


PET myocardial blood flow MPI vasodilators dobutamine CAD 



The authors would like to thank Aarondeep Shokar for his data collection contribution to this work.


Robert A deKemp receives royalties from Jubilant DraxImage for the sale of Ruby-Fill generators, is a consultant to Jubilant DraxImage, and receives revenue shares from the sale of FlowQuant. Ran Klein receives royalties from Jubilant DraxImage for the sale of Ruby-Fill generators, is a consultant to Jubilant DraxImage, and receives revenue shares from the sale of FlowQuant. Jonathan T. Abele, Monique Raubenheimer, Vincent G. Bain, Greg Wandzilak, Naji AlHulaimi, Richard Coulden, Randall G Williams, Robert S Warshawski and Lucille D Lalonde have nothing to declare.

Supplementary material

12350_2018_1516_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 1051 kb)


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Copyright information

© American Society of Nuclear Cardiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan T. Abele
    • 1
    • 7
    Email author
  • Monique Raubenheimer
    • 2
  • Vincent G. Bain
    • 3
  • Greg Wandzilak
    • 1
  • Naji AlHulaimi
    • 4
  • Richard Coulden
    • 1
  • Robert A. deKemp
    • 5
  • Ran Klein
    • 6
  • Randall G. Williams
    • 4
  • Robert S. Warshawski
    • 1
  • Lucille D. Lalonde
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Radiology and Diagnostic ImagingUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine and DentistryUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Liver Unit, Department of MedicineUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.Division of Cardiology, Department of MedicineUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  5. 5.Division of Cardiology, Department of MedicineUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  6. 6.Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  7. 7.Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging2A2.42 Walter C MacKenzie Health Sciences Centre, University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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