The exercise 201Tl imaging procedure in patients with left bundle branch block (LBBB) is associated with a relatively high frequency of false-positive septal perfusion defects. We therefore initiated a study designed to determine the frequency of false-positive septal defects seen with adenosine/thallium imaging. In total, 900 adenosine/thallium cases performed at our institution for assessment of coronary artery disease were reviewed. Sixty-eight patients had LBBB on resting electrocardiogram (ECG) and successfully completed the imaging procedure, of whom 25 had coronary angiography. Only 6 of the 68 patients demonstrated reversible septal defects on thallium imaging. Of these 6 patients, 3 underwent coronary angiography and all of them had significant (>70%) LAD stenosis. Therefore, at most only 4% of the patients with LBBB had a false-positive reversible septal defect. Three additional patients had fixed septal defects. Of these three patients, one underwent cardiac catheterization and was found not to have significant LAD stenosis. The results from this study suggest that adenosine/thallium imaging is associated with an acceptably low frequency of false-positive septal defects and should be used as an alternative to exercise/thallium in patients with LBBB.
*Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
Received 13 August 1994, in revised form 29 September 1994 and accepted 3 October 1994
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.