Quantitative relationship between global left ventricular thallium uptake and blood flow: effects of propranolol, ouabain, dipyridamole, and coronary artery occlusion.

J. A. Melin, L. C. Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The quantitative relationship between fractional myocardial thallium uptake and radioactive microsphere-determined flow was studied in 33 open chest dogs under baseline conditions during increased coronary flow (dipyridamole), decreased coronary flow (propranolol and coronary artery stenosis), inhibition of Na-K ATPase (ouabain), and regional infarction. Myocardial contents of thallium and microspheres were compared in left ventricular (LV) biopsies taken 5, 10, 15, 30, and 60 min after thallium injection, expressed as fractions of injected dose. Maximal LV thallium uptake occurred 10 min after injection and the 10-min values were therefore used for subsequent comparisons. Combining all dogs, fractional LV thallium content (% injected dose) correlated well with fractional LV blood flow (% cardiac output) (r = 0.95). However, for fractional LV flows in the low, normal, or moderately elevated range (LV flow/cardiac output less than 9%), thallium content consistently exceeded flow by about 15%. This relationship was not altered by ouabain or regional ischemia or infarction. For greatly elevated fractional LV flows (greater than 9%), thallium content was not significantly different from flow. To explain these differences, myocardial and systemic extraction fractions for thallium were determined in eight dogs with a dual tracer method. At baseline, myocardial extraction fraction was significantly greater than systemic (88 +/- 0.4% compared with 75 +/- 1%, p less than 0.001). During dipyridamole, myocardial extraction fraction decreased and myocardial and systemic values were no longer significantly different (82 +/- 1% compared with 79 +/- 1%). These results show that the fraction of injected thallium dose taken up by the LV myocardium exceeds the delivered fraction of cardiac output over a wide range of LV flows, and is not altered by ouabain-induced inhibition of sodium-potassium ATPase or regional myocardial infarction. This difference is explained by a greater myocardial than systemic extraction fraction for thallium. During high LV flows produced by dipyridamole, fractional LV thallium uptake and flow become similar as myocardial and systemic extraction fractions equalize.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-652
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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