Silent versus symptomatic ischemia during a thallium-201 exercise test

Mark I. Travin, Angel R. Flores, Charles A. Boucher, John B. Newell, Paul J. LaRaia

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13 Scopus citations


One hundred thirty-four patients with redistribution on a thallium-201 exercise test who did not experience angina (group 1) were compared with 134 patients also having redistribution who had angina during the test (group 2). The groups were matched by age, sex, and peak exercise heart rate. Although patients in both groups achieved an equivalent exercise level, patients in group 1 had less frequent (53 vs 71%, p < 0.005) and less severe (0.15 ± 0.13 vs 0.20 ± 0.13 mV, p < 0.005) ischemic ST-segment depression. Group 1 also had less ischemic thallium-201 images in terms of the number of redistributing defects, the severity of the worst redistributing defect, and an ischemic index composite of both extent and severity. Patients in group 1 were less likely to undergo early revascularization (12 vs 29%, p < 0.005), but in the remaining patients the occurrence of adverse cardiac events was similar (21% vs 29%, p = not significant). By multivariate analysis, only the ischemic index correlated with early revascularization in group 1 (p = 0.0017), whereas the percent maximal predicted heart rate correlated best in group 2 (p = 0.0003). In group 1 the ratio of lung/heart thallium-201 uptake correlated best with an outcome of nonfatal myocardial infarction or cardiac death (p = 0.0024); in group 2 the presence of fixed left ventricular dilatation did (p = 0.0022). Thus, patients with exercise-induced thallium-201 redistribution without angina have less ischemia than patients experiencing angina. They are also less likely to undergo early revascularization, but their prognosis is otherwise similar to patients with angina during the test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1600-1608
Number of pages9
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Dec 15 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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