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Detection of high risk coronary artery disease by thallium imaging.
  1. M J O'Hara,
  2. A Lahiri,
  3. J R Whittington,
  4. J C Crawley,
  5. E B Raftery

    Abstract

    One hundred and three patients who underwent coronary arteriography were studied by thallium imaging and the results analysed by Bayesian principles to assess the usefulness of semiquantitative stress thallium imaging for predicting the presence or absence of multivessel coronary disease. Significant disease was found in 80 patients, of whom 77 had abnormal thallium scans (sensitivity 96%). Thallium images were normal in 15 of 23 patients with no significant disease (specificity 65%). Multiple thallium segmental defects were found to be 90% sensitive and 65% specific for multivessel coronary artery disease and were present in 80% of patients with left main stem disease and in 93% of patients with triple vessel disease. A single thallium defect or normal scan excluded multivessel, left main, and triple vessel disease with 81%, 94%, and 91% predictive accuracy respectively. By Bayesian analysis the predictive accuracy for excluding multivessel disease was greater than 90% in patients with a pretest probability of multivessel disease of less than or equal to 40%. Coronary arteriography to exclude multivessel disease is therefore unnecessary in a high proportion of patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease.

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