Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Value of positive myocardial infarction imaging in coronary care units.

Br Med J 1979; 1 doi: (Published 10 February 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;1:372
  1. S P Joseph,
  2. A V Pereira-Prestes,
  3. P J Ell,
  4. R Donaldson,
  5. W Somerville,
  6. R W Emanuel


    Positive myocardial imaging was undertaken on 120 unselected patients admitted to a coronary care unit with clinical suspicion of acute myocardial infarction. Multipurpose mobile gamma-cameras were used for serial imaging after administration of 99mtechnetium-labelled imidodiphosphonate, a low-cost radiopharmaceutical that is 97% specific for myocardial necrosis, with myocardial uptake and blood clearance most suitable for myocardial imaging. The sensitivty of detection was 94% for patients whose infarction was unequivocal on the ECG; when the presence of raised enzyme concentrations was also used as a criterion for myocardial necrosis, the overall sensitivity for all 120 patients remained 94%. In 73 patients (61%), whose ECGs were unhelpful or difficult to interpret, scintigraphy allowed infarction to be diagnosed in 11 (15%) and to be excluded in five (7%). In 32 (44%) of this group whose ECGs were totally uninterpretable due to previous myocardial damage or disorders of electrical activation, scintigraphy provided confirmation of a diagnosis that otherwise rested only on whether enzyme concentrations were raised. Myocardial imaging is thus a useful technique that permits more definite diagnosis in patients for whom ECG and enzyme data are uncertain.