Aims: Cardiac 123iodine-meta-iodobenzylguanidine (123I-mIBG) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging provides information on regional myocardial innervation. However, the value of the commonly used 17-segment summed defect score (SDS) as a prognostic marker is uncertain. The present study examined whether a simpler regional scoring approach for evaluation of 123I-mIBG SPECT combined with rest 99mTc-tetrofosmin SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging could improve prediction of arrhythmic events (AEs) in patients with ischaemic heart failure (HF). Methods and Results: Five hundred and two ischaemic HF subjects of the ADMIRE-HF study with complete cardiac 123I-mIBG and rest 99mTc-tetrofosmin SPECT studies were included. Both SPECT image sets were read together by two experienced nuclear imagers and scored by consensus. In addition to standard 17-segment scoring, the readers classified walls (i.e. anterior, lateral, inferior, septum and apex) as normal, matched defect, mismatched (innervation defect > perfusion defect), or reverse mismatched (perfusion defect > innervation defect). Cox proportional hazards ratios (HRs) were used to determine if age, body mass index, functional class, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), norepinephrine, 123I-mIBG SDS, 99mTc-tetrofosmin SDS, innervation/perfusion mismatch SDS, and our simplified visual innervation/perfusion wall classification were associated with occurrence of AEs (i.e. sudden cardiac death, sustained ventricular tachycardia, resuscitated cardiac arrest, appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy). At 2-year median follow-up, 52 subjects (10.4%) had AEs. Subjects with 1 or 2 mismatched walls were twice as likely to have AEs compared with subjects with either 0 or 3-5 mismatched walls (16.3% vs. 8.3%, P = 0.010). Cox regression analyses showed that patients with a visual mismatch in 1-2 walls had an almost two times higher risk of AEs [HR 2.084 (1.109-3.914), P = 0.001]. None of the other innervation, perfusion and mismatch scores using standard 17 segments were associated with AEs. BNP (ng/L) was the only non-imaging parameter associated with AEs. Conclusion: A visual left ventricular wall-level based scoring method identified highest AE risk in ischaemic HF subjects with intermediate levels of innervation/perfusion mismatches. This simple technique for the evaluation of SPECT studies, which are often challenging in HF subjects, seems to be superior to the 17-segment scoring method.
- I-mIBG scintigraphy
- chronic heart failure
- innervation/perfusion mismatch
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine