The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether computed tomography based-attenuation correction (CT-AC) provides any advantage over non–attenuation-corrected (NAC) images for qualitative and quantitative analysis of single photon emission tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI).
We retrospectively evaluated data of 171 patients who underwent stress rest MPI SPECT/CT as per standard protocol. Angiography done within ±3 months of MPI was taken as reference standard. Two readers independently evaluated CT-AC and NAC images. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was done using ≥50% and ≥70% stenosis as cutoff. The size and severity of perfusion defects were also compared on CT-AC and NAC images.
For both readers, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was larger for CT-AC images than for NAC images at both ≥50% and ≥70% cutoff, but the difference was not significant. CT-AC images had significantly lower sensitivity for detecting right coronary artery disease compared with NAC (29% vs. 50% for reader 1 and 25.8% vs. 43.2% for reader 2). However, the specificity improved with CT-AC. Inferior defects were significantly smaller in CT-AC than NAC (P = 0.0002), with no significant difference for anterior defects (P = 0.544). There was significant variation in severity between CT-AC and NAC images for both overall (P = 0.001) as well as for inferior defects (P = 0.0007), but not for anterior defects (P = 0.279).
In our study, the CT-based AC improved the specificity but decreased the sensitivity leading to nonsignificant improvement in overall diagnostic accuracy of Tc-99m sestamibi/tetrofosmin MPI.
From the Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Received for publication March 26, 2011; revision accepted August 8, 2011.
Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.
Reprints: Chetan D. Patel, MD, B-54, N.D.S.E. Part-I, New Delhi 110029, India. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.