The occurrence of false-positive technetium-99m sestamibi bull's eye defects in different reference databases
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Myocardial perfusion single-photon emission tomographic (SPET) imaging has been shown to be sensitive in the detection of coronary artery disease (CAD), whereas its specificity has been suboptimal. The aim of the present study was to study the frequency of abnormal bull's eye perfusion defects in a large age-stratified group of healthy subjects undergoing myocardial SPET assessed by comparison with two existing commercially available reference databases. One hundred and twenty-eight healthy volunteers (76 males and 52 females) with a less than 5% likelihood of CAD underwent rest and exercise technetium-99m sestamibi SPET. The false-positive response rate, defined as a significant reversible defect, was 12% when compared to the CEqual database and 29% when compared to the Cedars-Sinai database. With the CEqual program, rest defects occurred in 12% of the subjects. Defects occurred more often in women than in men, but the difference did not attain statistical significance. Significant defects were most frequent in the inferior wall and in women in the anterior wall as well. The distribution of defects was independent of age. Our results suggest that the specificity of99mTc-sestamibi myocardial SPET using commercially available reference files is suboptimal. The risk of obtaining a falsepositive test result in subjects undergoing99mTc-sestamibi myocardial SPET with a very low likelihood of CAD was higher than anticipated. With both reference files false-positive test results were most frequently observed in the inferior wall. Our data suggest that commercial reference files for myocardial SPET need to be optimised, and should be used with caution. The use of attenuation correction may prove to be a major step forward.
Key wordsTechnetium-99m sestamibi Coronary artery disease Reference databases Single-photon emission tomography
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