OBJECTIVES--To evaluate the concordance between thallium-201 uptake and echocardiographic wall thickening, which are both indicators of potentially reversible myocardial dysfunction, in patients with chronic ischaemic left ventricular failure and to assess their relative contribution to predicting improvement in regional function after revascularisation in a subgroup. PATIENTS AND METHODS--45 patients with chronic ischaemic left ventricular dysfunction (mean (SD) ejection fraction 25 (8)%) underwent echocardiography before and after dobutamine infusion (10 micrograms/kg/min). Of these, 22 patients underwent rest echocardiography at a mean (SD) of 9 (1) weeks after revascularisation. 201Tl imaging was performed during dobutamine echocardiography and at rest, 1, and 4 h after treatment with sublingual glyceryl trinitrate on two separate days. Potentially reversible dysfunction was thought to be present when a myocardial segment contained a Tl score of > or = 3 (ascending score 1-4), or showed improved wall thickening of a dysynergic segment during dobutamine stimulation. RESULTS--Of the 201Tl protocols, the redistribution scan 1 h after treatment with glyceryl trinitrate best demonstrated myocardial viability. Concordance between 201Tl and dobutamine induced wall thickening was 82% (kappa = 0.59) for detecting potentially reversible myocardial dysfunction before revascularisation (n = 45). Regional function improved in 18 of 22 patients after revascularisation. There were 168 dysynergic segments before intervention. The sensitivity of echocardiography and 201Tl imaging for detecting "recoverable" or viable segments after revascularisation was 87% and 92% respectively and specificity was 82% and 78% respectively (P = NS). CONCLUSIONS--Dobutamine echocardiography and 201Tl imaging may be used to predict mechanical improvement in dysynergic segments after revascularisation in patients with chronic ischaemic left ventricular dysfunction.
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