Optimal Adenosine Stress for Maximum Stress Perfusion, Coronary Flow Reserve, and Pixel Distribution of Coronary Flow Capacity by Kolmogorov–Smirnov Analysis

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Background—Different adenosine stress imaging protocols have not been systemically validated for absolute myocardial perfusion and coronary flow reserve (CFR) by positron emission tomography, where submaximal stress precludes assessing physiological severity of coronary artery disease.Methods and Results—In 127 volunteers, serial rest–stress positron emission tomography scans using rubidium-82 with various adenosine infusion protocols identified (1) the protocol with maximum stress perfusion and CFR, (2) test–retest precision in same subject, (3) stress perfusion and CFR after adenosine compared with dipyridamole, (4) heterogeneity of coronary flow capacity combining stress perfusion and CFR, and (5) potential relevance for patients with risk factors or coronary artery disease. The adenosine 6-minute infusion with rubidium-82 injection at 3 minutes caused CFR that was significantly 15.7% higher than the 4-minute adenosine infusion with rubidium-82 injection at 2 minutes and significantly more homogeneous by Kolmogorov–Smirnov analysis for histograms of 1344 pixel range of perfusion in paired positron emission tomographies. In a coronary artery disease cohort separate from volunteers of this study, compared with the 3/6-minute protocol, the 2/4-minute adenosine protocol would potentially have changed 332 of 1732 (19%) positron emission tomographies at low-risk physiological severity CFR ≥2.3 to CFR <2.0, thereby implying high-risk quantitative severity potentially appropriate for interventions but because of suboptimal stress of the 2/4 protocol in some patients.Conclusions—The 6-minute adenosine infusion with rubidium-82 activation at 3 minutes produced CFR that averaged 15.7% higher than that in the 2/4-minute protocol, thereby potentially providing essential information for personalized management in some patients.

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