Transesophageal Atrial Pacing during Scintigraphic Tomography Exams

Atrial pacing with two-dimensional echocardiography for evaluation of chest pain: comparison with thallium 201 scintigraphy.

Stratmann HG; Janosik DL; Mezei LE; Mark AL; Williams GA. St. Louis VA Med Ctr, Missouri. Angiology 1991, 42(11) p855-65. Atrial pacing was performed with two-dimensional (2-D) echocardiography and thallium 201 scintigraphy in 40 men with stable chest pain. Coronary angiography showed significant (one or more lesions greater than or equal to 50%) coronary artery disease (CAD) in 36 patients and no or insignificant CAD in 4. Two dimensional echocardiography showed a left ventricular wall motion abnormality (WMA) either at rest or with pacing in 28 (78%) patients with CAD, with 17 (47%) showing a new or worsened WMA with pacing. A thallium scan showing abnormality (reversible or fixed perfusion defect) was seen in 26 (72%) patients with CAD; 18 (50%) had a reversible defect. In all, 34 of the 36 patients with CAD (94%) had a WMA, a perfusion defect, or both (specificity 50%). Occurrence of both a WMA and a perfusion defect in individual segments ranged from 10 of 25 patients with septal abnormalities to 0 of 12 with abnormalities of the lateral segment. Sensitivity of 2-D echocardiography for identifying CAD in specific vessels was 81% for the left anterior descending (LAD) artery, 30% for the right coronary artery, and 20% for the circumflex artery (both p less than .001 compared with the LAD artery). Corresponding sensitivities for thallium 201 imaging were 54% (p less than .05 compared with 2-D echocardiography), 27%, and 8% (both p less than .05 compared with the LAD artery). When combined with atrial pacing, 2-D echocardiography and thallium 201 perfusion imaging are of similar value for diagnosing the presence of CAD in patients with stable chest pain. Two-dimensional echocardiography is superior to thallium 201 imaging for identifying the presence of significant CAD in the LAD artery, but both tests are limited in their ability to detect lesions of the right coronary or circumflex arteries.

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