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Rev Port Cardiol. 2000 Feb;19 Suppl 1:I39-46.

Comparison of global and regional left ventricular function assessed by gated-SPECT and 2-D echocardiography.

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State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Left ventricular (LV) function and volumes have major diagnostic and prognostic importance in patients with heart diseases. Those measurements are most commonly obtained with echocardiographic techniques. Recently, with the use of electrocardiographic gating during the acquisition of myocardial perfusion scintigraphy, it has become possible to simultaneously assess LV perfusion, function and volumes. Both technetium-99m labeled agents and thallium-201, the most commonly used tracers for perfusion scintigraphy, can be used for gated perfusion purposes. Many authors compared gated perfusion images to echocardiography, in regard to LV global and segmental wall motion as well as volumes. We performed gated single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and echocardiography in 109 consecutive patients (53 male, 56 female, mean age 63 +/- 14 years) within 15 days of each other. Gated tomographic data, including LV volumes, LV ejection fraction and segmental wall motion, were processed using an automatic algorithm whereas echocardiography used standard techniques. To obtain interobserver and intraobserver variability of regional wall motion, we randomly re-analyzed 34 of the 109 gated SPECT studies. The correlations between gated tomography and echocardiography with respect to end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume and left ventricular ejection fraction were good to excellent (all p < 0.001, r values > or = 0.68) regardless of the use of post-stress or rest/redistribution images, thallium-201 or technetium-99m tracers. The agreement between both techniques, regarding segmental wall motion analysis were also good. Intraobserver and interobserver variability for regional wall motion were good to excellent, with an agreement of 90% and 88%, respectively. Other authors also had similar results in different studies with different populations, tracers, imaging acquisition and processing protocols. Thus, quantitative gated SPECT, using a variety of protocols and with either Tl-201 or Tc-99m tracers, has a good correlation with echocardiography for the measurements of absolute LV volumes and LV global and regional function. This technique is highly reproducible and can be used clinically for those measurements, with the additional advantage that the ventricular performance parameters are obtained from the perfusion images. Furthermore, contrary to echocardiographic techniques used to assess LV volumes and LV function, which are quite labor intensive and more observer-dependent, the gated SPECT technique is nearly totally automatic, and highly reproducible.

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