What is the role of perfusion imaging in the workup of acute coronary syndrome (ACS)?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020
  • Author: David L Coven, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging has been shown to have favorable diagnostic and prognostic value in the emergent setting, with an excellent early sensitivity in the detection of acute myocardial infarction not found in other testing modalities.

A normal resting perfusion imaging study has been shown to have a negative predictive value of more than 99% in excluding myocardial infarction. Observational and randomized trials of rest and stress imaging in the ED evaluation of patients with chest pain have demonstrated reductions in unnecessary hospitalizations and cost savings compared with routine care.

Perfusion imaging has also been used in risk stratification after myocardial infarction and for measurement of infarct size to evaluate reperfusion therapies. Novel "hot spot" imaging radiopharmaceuticals that visualize infarction or ischemia are currently undergoing evaluation and hold promise for future imaging of ACS.

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