Comparison of early thallium-201 scintigraphy and gated blood pool imaging for predicting mortality in patients with acute myocardal infarction

L. C. Becker, K. J. Silverman, B. H. Bulkley, C. H. Kallman, E. D. Mellits, M. Weisfeldt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The extent of abnormality in early thallium-201 and gated cardiac blood pool scintigrams has been reported to be useful for predicting mortality in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). To compare the two techniques, 91 patients admitted consecutively with evident or strongly suspected AMI underwent both imaging studies within 15 hours of the onset of symptoms. Patients with pulmonary edema or shock were excluded. AMI developed in 84% of patients, and 6-month mortality for the entire group was 16%. A thallium defect score of 7.0 or greater (corresponding to at least a moderate reduction of activity involving 40% of the left ventricular circumference) identified a subgroup of 14 patients with 64% 6-month mortality rate. Similarly, a left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less identified a high-risk subgroup of 10 patients with a 6-month mortality of 60%. Mortality in the remaining patients was 8% for thallium score less than 7 and 11% for ejection fraction greater than 35%. The mortality rate was highest among patients who had concordant high-risk scintigrams (five of six, 83%), lowest in those with concordant low-risk studies (five of 64, 8%) and intermediate in those with discordant results (four of 11, 36%). Of a number of clinical variables, only the appearance of Q waves, peak creatinine kinase > 1000 IU/I, and history of infarction were significantly associated with mortality. High-risk thallium or blood pool scintigraphic results were significantly more predictive and a thallium score of 7 or greater was more sensitive for detecting nonsurvivors than ejection fraction 35% or less at a similar level of specificity. Stepwise multiple logistic analysis showed that the thallium score was the best predictor of mortality, but that appearance of Q waves and ejection fraction were additive. Using these three variables, 11 patients were calculated to have a 50% or greater chance of dying and eight (73%) actually died, compared with six of 70 (9%) with a calculated chance of death of less than 50%. These results in a prospectively identified and consecutive group of patients support the value of early thallium and blood pool scintigraphy for separating high- and low-risk subgroups hemodynamically stable infarct patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1272-1282
Number of pages11
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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