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Am J Cardiol. 2006 Jan 1;97(1):1-6. Epub 2005 Nov 4.

Prognostic implications of a normal stress technetium-99m-tetrofosmin myocardial perfusion study in patients with a healed myocardial infarct and/or previous coronary revascularization.

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Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Previous studies have shown a good outcome for patients who present with normal findings on stress myocardial perfusion imaging. Currently, the prognostic implications of a normal study in patients who have a history of coronary artery disease (CAD) are not clear. This study investigated the long-term prognosis after a normal finding on stress technetium-99m (Tc-99m)-tetrofosmin single-photon emission computed tomography in patients with a history of CAD. The study included 147 consecutive patients with a history of CAD (previous myocardial infarction and/or myocardial revascularization), who underwent exercise bicycle or high-dose dobutamine-atropine stress Tc-99m-tetrofosmin single-photon emission computed tomography, and had normal perfusion results during stress and at rest. Follow-up was completed in all patients. During a follow-up of 6.5 +/- 1.9 years, 20 patients (14%) died, 10 (7%) of whom died due to cardiac causes, and 12 (8%) had a nonfatal myocardial infarction. Annual cardiac death rates were 0.5% during the first 3 years of follow-up and 1.3% in the subsequent 3 years. Independent predictors of cardiac death were male gender, rate-pressure product at rest, and rate-pressure product at peak stress. In conclusion, patients who have a history of CAD have a very low cardiac death rate during the 3 years after a normal finding on stress Tc-99m-tetrofosmin single-photon emission computed tomography. Repeated testing should be reconsidered 3 years after the initial evaluation and when a change in symptoms or clinical condition occurs.

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