Comparison of left ventricular function and myocardial perfusion for evaluating perioperative cardiac risk of abdominal aortic surgery.
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The measurement of left ventricular function by gated blood pool scanning and of myocardial perfusion by dipyridamole thallium imaging were compared in a prospective study of patients who had abdominal aortic aneurysm or aortoiliac occlusive disease to determine which measurement was the better predictor of postoperative cardiac complications. Sixty-six men and 19 women (mean age 67 years) underwent both tests before admission for surgery. Fifty-six had repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, and 29 had reconstruction for aortoiliac occlusive disease. In 17 patients the left ventricular ejection fraction was less than 50%. Dipyridamole thallium imaging was positive, showing redistribution, in 45 patients. Postoperative cardiac complications occurred in 33 patients. The sensitivity of dipyridamole thallium imaging (91%) was significantly (p less than 0.01) greater than that observed with gated blood pool scanning (27%). However, the specificity of gated blood pool scanning (85%) was similar to that of dipyridamole thallium imaging (71%). Diagnostic accuracy was greatest with dipyridamole thallium imaging (79% versus 62% [p less than 0.02]). Dipyridamole thallium imaging is superior to gated blood pool scanning for perioperative evaluation of vascular surgical patients.
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