Myocardial perfusion imaging with technetium-99m-labelled methoxyisobutyl isonitrile single photon emission computed tomography (99mTc-MIBI SPECT) has proven to be an important clinical procedure in assessing the severity of myocardial ischaemia. The uptake and clearance of 99mTc-MIBI by the myocardium is affected by cell viability and membrane integrity. Consequently, infectious diseases, such as myocarditis, may also affect myocardial perfusion by inducing local inflammation and necrosis. We compared 99mTc-MIBI myocardial perfusion imaging with other heart monitoring methods in order to assess its value in the diagnosis of children with Coxsackie viral myocarditis. We examined 46 patients (age, 3–12 years) with Coxsackie viral myocarditis using 99mTc-MIBI myocardial perfusion imaging and compared the perfusion data with myocardial enzymes, electrocardiographic findings and echocardiography. Regions of hypoperfusion were found in all 46 patients. Seventeen patients (37%) showed two or more areas of diminished perfusion. Myocardial hypoperfusion was mild-to-moderate (<30%) in 33 (72%) patients and severe (>30%) in 13 (28%) patients. Characteristic creatine-kinase isoenzyme (CK-MB) increases, ST-T segment changes and diminished heart function were significantly correlated with reduced myocardial perfusion (all comparisons P<0.05). The results of this study suggest that the presence of myocardial uptake of 99mTc-MIBI may be a marker of myocardial inflammation and necrosis. All 46 patients with Coxsackie viral myocarditis showed a certain degree of reduced perfusion. When the perfusion findings were compared with other parameters, it was shown that myocardial enzyme levels, ST-T segment changes and left ventricular function correlated well with the 99mTc-MIBI-established perfusion defect severity. 99mTc-MIBI SPECT imaging is therefore helpful in providing additional diagnostic information in patients with Coxsackie viral myocarditis.
1 Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2 Pediatric Department, Shandong Provincial Hospital, Jinan, China, and 3 Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
*Address all correspondence to Ernst E. van der Wall, Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. Tel.: +31–71–5262020. Fax: +31–71–5248116. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 4 October 2002 and accepted 26 November 2002