Ventilation/perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography: a service evaluation

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Abstract

Objectives

To identify the positive rate and negative predictive value (NPV) of our ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) service as respective markers of overcalling (false positives) and undercalling (false negatives). We also identified the indeterminate rate as an indicator of the technical quality of the scans and reporter confidence.

Patients and methods

V/Q SPECT studies carried out over 5 years were classified into positive, negative and indeterminate results. Patients who had died or had pulmonary emboli on imaging within 3 months of a negative V/Q SPECT were identified as false negatives, from which the NPV was calculated. The total number of positive and indeterminate studies as a proportion of all studies was calculated as the positive and indeterminate rates.

Results

The positive rate, NPV and indeterminate rates in nonpregnant patients were 24, 98.7–100 and 3.6%, respectively. The positive rate, NPV and indeterminate rates in pregnant patients were 6.8, 100 and 2.3%, respectively.

Conclusion

The positive rate and NPV for nonpregnant patients were similar to the published literature. This suggests that we provide a safe service. The indeterminate rate was slightly higher than the stated guidelines. The study shows that the positive rate and NPV are achievable indicators of potential overcalling and undercalling in a V/Q SPECT service.

Conclusion

This is also one of the first studies to report a positive rate in pregnant patients undergoing V/Q SPECT that other institutions can use as a standard when evaluating their services.

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