Value and limitation of biplane rest and exercise radionuclide angiography for assessing individual bypass grafts: a prospective study.
This prospective study evaluated the ability of serial biplane rest and exercise radionuclide angiography to predict the status of individual coronary bypass grafts in 20 patients 2 to 6 months after surgery. The preoperative coronary angiogram was used to assign vessels to 10 regions of distribution on the radionuclide angiogram. Predictions of graft adequacy for individual vessels were based on a detailed assessment of rest and exercise wall motion in their regions of supply. Of 59 grafts, 38 were judged adequate (patent with less than 75% stenosis) and 21 inadequate by postoperative catheterization. Radionuclide prediction of graft status was possible for 32 of the 59 grafts, including 19 of 24 left anterior descending, 7 of 19 circumflex and 6 of 16 right coronary artery grafts. The status of the remaining 27 grafts could not be assessed because of normal wall motion in their region of supply both pre- and postoperatively (22 vessels) or because a region of supply was not represented on the biplane radionuclide angiogram (5 vessels). Of the 32 predictions made, 25 (78%) were correct, including 13 (93%) of 14 predictions of graft adequacy and 12 (67%) of 18 predictions of graft inadequacy. The single incorrect prediction of graft adequacy resulted from improved exercise wall motion in a region supplied by a graft judged as having a 75% anastomotic stenosis. Most incorrect predictions of graft inadequacy were due to new septal or other rest wall motion abnormalities postoperatively. The comparison of pre- and postoperative studies was essential to maintain the predictive ability of the test. Thus, a detailed analysis of regional wall motion by rest and exercise radionuclide angiography can be used to predict the status of individual coronary artery bypass grafts. Reliable predictions can be made for most successful anterior descending grafts, and may permit cardiac catheterization to be deferred in certain cases. However, the method is limited by the need to perform preoperative exercise studies, by the low number of right and circumflex coronary artery grafts that can be evaluated and by the poor specificity of predictions of graft failure.
Higginbotham, MB; Belkin, RN; Morris, KG; Coleman, RE; Cobb, FR
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