DOI: 10.1007/s00259-017-3891-1Pages: 530-537

Prediction of functional recovery after primary PCI using the estimate of myocardial salvage in gated SPECT early after acute myocardial infarction

1. University of Florence, Nuclear Medicine Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences “Mario Serio”

2. Careggi University Hospital, Cardiothoracovascular Department

Correspondence to:
Roberto Sciagrà
Tel: +39 055 7946501




Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) aims to achieve myocardial salvage (MS). Because the reference method for measuring MS requires myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) after tracer injection before PCI, alternative approaches have been proposed, but none has gained wide acceptance. Gated SPECT MPI can assess infarct size (IS), but can also show myocardial stunning. Thus, we compared functional and perfusion abnormalities early after AMI to estimate MS, and to predict left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) recovery at follow-up.


We studied 120 patients with AMI. Gated SPECT MPI was performed early (before hospital discharge) and at 6 months after AMI to measure IS, MS and functional outcome. MS was defined as the difference between the number of segments with abnormal thickening (i.e. the stunned area or area at risk) and the number of segments with abnormal perfusion (i.e. the final IS), expressed as a percentage of the total number of segments in the AHA model. LVEF was calculated using quantitative gated SPECT.


The area at risk was 40 ± 25%, IS was 17.3 ± 16% and MS was 22 ± 19%. Early LVEF was 46.6 ± 11.6% and late LVEF was 51.4 ± 11.6%, with 54 patients showing at least an increase in LVEF of more than 5 units. ROC analysis showed that MS was able to predict LVEF recovery with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.79 (p < 0.0001), and using a cut off >23% detected LVEF recovery with 74% sensitivity and 71% specificity. Conversely, IS was associated with an AUC 0.53 (not significant).


MS assessed by a single early gated SPECT MPI study can accurately predict LVEF evolution after primary PCI for AMI.

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  • Accepted: Nov 13, 2017
  • Online: Dec 1, 2017

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