RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Prospective clinical comparison of non-corrected and attenuation- and scatter-corrected myocardial perfusion SPECT in patients with suspicion of coronary artery disease.

Attenuation artefacts decrease the specificity of myocardial perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). In this paper, the results of a prospective study evaluating the clinical applicability of attenuation and scatter correction in myocardial perfusion SPECT are presented. Of 607 patients in whom post-stress 99mTc-tetrofosmin myocardial perfusion SPECT was performed due to suspicion of coronary artery disease, 99 also underwent coronary angiography (CAG). A simultaneous emission/transmission acquisition was performed. A multiple linear array of 153Gd sources and four independent energy windows were used for attenuation and scatter correction. A blind separate analysis of non-corrected (NC) and attenuation- and scatter-corrected (AC-SC) images was performed with scores of zero (no uptake) to three (normal uptake). The final diagnosis was based on CAG findings, and stenoses of > or =70% were considered to be significant. NC images had a sensitivity of 92% and a specificity of 46%. In AC-SC images, the sensitivity decreased to 76%, but the specificity increased to 71%. The decrease in the sensitivity of AC-SC images was observed in all three coronary regions. Attenuation and scatter correction increased the specificity in the right coronary region, but decreased the specificity in the left anterior descending coronary region. In 13 of the 99 patients, AC-SC images showed false positive findings due to count deficiency in the anterior wall with normal CAG. The size of perfusion defects was decreased in AC-SC images (from 5.01 +/- 2.74 to 3.15 +/- 2.50 segments). The severity of perfusion defects was higher in NC (1.10 +/- 0.60) than in AC-SC (1.28 +/- 0.56) images. The combined evaluation of NC and AC-SC images was in agreement with the CAG findings in 79% of patients. It can be concluded that, when compared with NC images, AC-SC images improved the specificity in the right coronary region and decreased the sensitivity in all three coronary regions. Attenuation and scatter correction may generate anterior wall defects with normal CAG. The analysis of AC-SC images cannot be used alone for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease. In the clinical setting, combined NC and AC-SC images are recommended for the evaluation of post-stress myocardial perfusion SPECT.

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