Diagnostic evaluation of planar and tomographic ventilation/perfusion lung images in patients with suspected pulmonary emboli

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Planar lung ventilation/perfusion scintigraphy (V/PPLANAR) is a standard method for diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE). The goals of this study were to test whether the diagnostic information of ventilation/perfusion tomography (V/PSPET) applied in clinical routine might enhance information compared with V/PPLANAR and to streamline data processing for the demands of clinical routine. This prospective study includes 53 patients suspected for PE referred for lung scintigraphy. After inhalation of 99mTc-DTPA planar ventilation imaging was followed by tomography, using a dual-head gamma camera. 99mTc-MAA was injected i.v. for perfusion tomography followed by planar imaging. Patients were examined in supine position, unchanged during V/P tomography. Two reviewers evaluated V/PPLANAR and V/PSPET images separately and randomly. Mismatch points were calculated on the basis of extension of perfusion defects with preserved ventilation. Patients were followed up clinically for at least 6 months. With V/PSPET the number of patients with PE was higher and 53% more mismatch points were found. In V/PSPET interobserver variation was less compared with V/PPLANAR. Ancillary findings were observed by both techniques in half of the patients but more precisely interpreted with V/PSPET. V/PSPET shows more and better delineated mismatch defects, improved quantification and less interobserver variation compared with V/PPLANAR. V/PSPET is amenable to implementation for clinical routine and suitable even when there is demand for a high patient throughput.

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