Key words: Single-photon emission tomography – Presynaptic sympathetic innervation – No-carrier-added MIBG – Heart – Tachyarrhythmias
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. In clinical and research studies, images obtained using carrier-added meta-[123I]iodobenzylguanidine (c.a. [123I]MIBG) have shown quite variable quality, with varying levels of uptake in lung, liver and mediastinum; this is a significant problem for quantification of the myocardial uptake by means of region ratios. First experimental and preliminary human data in respect of no-carrier-added (n.c.a.) [123I]MIBG are indicative of improved imaging quality. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical value of myocardial scintigraphy with n.c.a. [123I]MIBG in patients with tachyarrhythmias. The study population comprised 24 patients with tachyarrhythmogenic diseases routinely studied by cardiac single-photon emission tomography (SPET) with [123I]MIBG. Twelve of the 24 patients were studied with c.a. [123I]MIBG (seven females and five males; mean age 42±13 years, range 20–60 years), whereas the other 12 were studied with n.c.a. [123I]MIBG (ten females, two males; mean age 41±11 years, range 18–60 years, P=NS). For quantification of the specific uptake in the different organs, count ratios were calculated on SPET images acquired 4 h p.i. Visual analysis of all [123I]MIBG scans showed improved image quality (improved contrast between heart and neighbouring organs) in n.c.a. studies as compared with c.a. studies. A significantly higher heart/left atrial blood ratio was found in the n.c.a. studies as compared with the c.a. studies (10.3±3.2 vs 5.3±1.3, P=0.0003); furthermore, significantly higher heart/lung and heart/liver ratios (2.5±0.6 vs 1.5±0.3, P=0.0002, and 0.8±0.2 vs 0.6±0.1, P=0.0006, respectively) were obtained in the c.a. studies, whereas lung/left atrial blood and liver/left atrial blood ratios showed no significant differences (4.2±1.3 vs 3.6±1.1, P=0.39, and 13.7±5.2 vs 9.6±2.2, P=0.21, respectively). In conclusion, the use of n.c.a. [123I]MIBG yields a significantly higher myocardial uptake associated with improvement in contrast between the heart and neighbouring organs and is therefore superior to the commercially available c.a. [123I]MIBG for use in clinical and research studies of the myocardial presynaptic sympathetic nervous system. Furthermore, our data indicate that for quantification the use of a left atrial blood reference region of interest, which is only available on SPET studies, is to be recommended.
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