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J Nucl Cardiol. 2003 May-Jun;10(3):261-6.

Long-term prognosis after a normal exercise stress Tc-99m sestamibi SPECT study.

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Throraxcenter, University Hospital-Dijkzigt, Totterdam, The Netherlands.



Patients with a normal stress technetium 99m sestamibi study were shown to have a favorable outcome at intermediate-term follow-up. However, long-term survival has not been studied. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence and predictors of mortality and cardiac events at long-term follow-up after a normal exercise stress sestamibi study. Methods and results We studied 218 patients (mean age, 53 +/- 10 years, 108 men) who had normal myocardial perfusion assessed by Tc-99m sestamibi single photon emission computed tomography at rest and during symptom-limited bicycle exercise stress test. Endpoints during a follow-up period of 7.4 +/- 1.8 years were hard cardiac events (cardiac death and nonfatal myocardial infarction) and all-cause mortality. During follow-up, 13 patients died of various causes (cardiac death in 1 patient). Ten patients had nonfatal myocardial infarction (a total of 11 hard cardiac events). By multivariate analysis, independent predictors of cardiac events were history of coronary artery disease (chi(2) = 5, P =.03) and lower exercise heart rate (chi(2) = 12, P =.001). Independent predictors of all-cause mortality were age (chi(2) = 4, P =.05) and exercise heart rate (chi(2) = 5, P =.03). The annual mortality rate was 0.6% in the first 5 years and 1.8% between the sixth and eighth years. The annual hard cardiac event rate was 0.7% in the first 5 years and 1.5% between the sixth and eighth years. Receiver operating characteristic curves identified an exercise heart rate lower than 130 beats/min as the cutoff value that separated patients with regard to their risk for mortality and hard cardiac events.


It is concluded that the annual mortality and cardiac event rate is less than 1% during 5-year follow-up after a normal exercise sestamibi study. Therefore repeated testing would not be required unless there is a change in symptoms. Follow-up should be closer in patients with a history of coronary artery disease and in those who fail to achieve an exercise heart rate of 130 beats/min or greater.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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