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Med Princ Pract. 2009;18(4):310-6. doi: 10.1159/000215730. Epub 2009 Jun 2.

Prediction of cardiac events in patients having left bundle-branch block with/without chest pain using dipyridamole technetium-99m-sestamibi myocardial perfusion imaging.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, Karachi Institute of Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine, Karachi, Pakistan.



To determine the prognostic value of myocardial perfusion scintigraphy with dipyridamole stress in patients with preexisting left bundle-branch block (LBBB) with or without chest pain.


Seventy-six patients, mean age 53 +/- 10 years, with preexisting LBBB underwent technetium-99m-sestamibi perfusion imaging with dipyridamole infusion protocol (0.56 mg/kg). Stress and rest single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) images were interpreted by consensus of 2 experienced nuclear medicine physicians and classified as low-risk scans (normal myocardial perfusion scan, small reversible/small fixed defect) and high-risk scans (large, severe, fixed or reversible defect and dilated left ventricle cavity). The patients were followed up for 24 +/- 8 months and occurrences of hard cardiac events (infarction or cardiac death) were noted.


Of the 76 patients, 52 (68%) had low-risk scans and the remaining 24 (32%) had high-risk scans. In the low-risk group, 1 (1.9%) cardiac death and 2 (3.8%) cases of nonfatal myocardial infarction occurred, while in the high-risk group, 5 (20.8%) suffered cardiac death, and 3 (12.5%) nonfatal myocardial infarction. Overall survival rate was 98.1% in the low-risk group compared with 79.2% in the high-risk group with a significant difference of p = 0.034. Negative predictive value of normal myocardial perfusion scintigraphy for the occurrence of death was 100%. No significant difference in survival rate among patients with or without chest pain (p = 0.31) was observed.


Myocardial perfusion imaging with dipyridamole provided important prognostic information in patients with LBBB; it was useful in stratifying the patients according to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and would thus allow the clinician to provide early treatment especially in the high-risk category.

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