Fifty patients with acute chest pain had thallium-201 myocardial imaging performed three to six days after emergency admission to hospital. The image was abnormal in 20 out of 22 patients with acute transmural myocardial infarcts but in only 1 of 5 with acute subendocardial infarcts. Indistinguishable scan abnormalities caused by old infarcts were seen in 7 patients, and caused by myocardial ischaemia in 1 patient. A single thallium-201 myocardial scan some days after the onset of symptoms appears to be of little value in the clinical assessment of patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction.
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