alexa Myocardial perfusion imaging does not adequately assess the risk of coronary artery disease in patients with atrial fibrillation


Angiology: Open Access

Author(s): Smit MD

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The role of coronary artery disease (CAD) in atrial fibrillation (AF) is poorly investigated. This study investigated the value of myocardial perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in the assessment of risk of CAD in patients with a history of AF.


Out of consecutive patients without previous coronary angiogram or history of CAD referred for SPECT, patients with a history of AF (n = 129) were compared with age- and gender-matched controls (n = 124). Primary endpoint was positive SPECT, i.e. unambiguous signs of ischaemia. There was no significant difference with regard to positive SPECT outcome between AF patients and controls (14 patients, 11% vs. 21 patients, 17%; P = 0.16). Coronary angiography (CAG) performed after SPECT demonstrated a higher yield of positive SPECT regarding significant CAD in control patients (10 out of 15 patients, 67%) than in AF patients (2 out of 13 patients, 15%; P = 0.006).


Positive SPECT outcome was similar in patients with AF and in controls. Nevertheless, in AF patients a positive SPECT outcome was less often related to significant CAD in those patients who subsequently underwent CAG. These results emphasize the need for new non-invasive techniques to adequately assess the risk of significant CAD in AF patients.

This article was published in Europace. and referenced in Angiology: Open Access

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