Scintigraphic evaluation of cardiac autonomic innervation

G Münch, S Ziegler, N Nguyen, F Hartmann, P Watzlowik, M Schwaiger
Journal of Nuclear Cardiology 1996, 3 (3): 265-77
Alterations in cardiac autonomic neuronal function have become the focus of intense research in various cardiovascular diseases. Both single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) and the positron emission tomography (PET) imaging techniques in combination with radio-labeled neurotransmitters and receptor ligands have become available for the scintigraphic visualization of presynaptic and postsynaptic neuronal function. Several clinical studies have shown changes in tracer distribution in different clinical conditions, such as ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, malignant arrhythmias, heart transplantation, and in patients with diabetes. In patients with congestive heart failure, previous in vitro investigations have concentrated on the postsynaptic level of the sympathetic innervation. However, alterations in presynaptic nerve function have been demonstrated with scintigraphic investigations by decreased presynaptic tracer retention. Moreover, correlation between scintigraphic findings and clinical outcome was shown in patients with heart failure, providing important prognostic information superior to conventional risk assessment. In conclusion, scintigraphic evaluation by SPECT and PET allows functional characterization of cardiac presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. Regional tracer uptake can be used as an index for the integrity of innervation in various diseases. Newer tracer approaches may allow the noninvasive quantification of neuronal function by PET.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"