Efficient 1-Hour Technetium-99 m Pyrophosphate Imaging Protocol for the Diagnosis of Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloidosis

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Background:Technetium-99 m pyrophosphate protocols for transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis diagnosis have variably used 1- and 3-hour imaging time points. We investigated whether imaging at 1 hour with superior efficiency had comparable diagnostic accuracy as 3-hour imaging.Methods:This is a registry analysis of patients with suspected transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis referred for technetium-99 m pyrophosphate at a single tertiary center from June 2015 through January 2019. Patients underwent planar and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging at 1 and 3 hours. A positive Tc-99m pyrophosphate study was defined by the presence of diffuse myocardial tracer uptake on SPECT. For planar imaging, visual semiquantitative (grades 0-3, ≥2 considered positive) and quantitative heart to contralateral ratios (≥1.5 considered positive) were used.Results:Two hundred thirty-three patients (69% men; median age, 77 [69–83] years) underwent the study protocol. There were 60 (25.8%) patients with diffuse myocardial uptake, 1 (0.4%) with regional uptake, and 172 (73.8%) with no myocardial uptake. Results of SPECT were identical at 1 and 3 hours. Planar imaging at 1 hour had 98% sensitivity and 96% specificity. Planar grade 0 uptake or heart to contralateral ratio ≤1.2 and planar grade 3 uptake or heart to contralateral ratio ≥2.0 were always associated with negative and positive SPECT, respectively. For planar grades 1 and 2 uptake and heart to contralateral ratio 1.3 to 1.9, SPECT was needed to make a diagnosis. No patient with light-chain cardiac amyloidosis had positive SPECT.Conclusions:An efficient 1-hour technetium-99 m pyrophosphate protocol had comparable diagnostic performance to a 3-hour protocol.

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