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A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Affiliated to the and to the International Research Group of Immunoscintigraphy
Indexed/Abstracted in: Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 2,413
Bavelaar-Croon C. D. L. °, Wahba F. F. M. F. °*, Van Hecke M. V. °*, Atsma D. E. *, Stokkel M. P. M. °, Pauwels E. K. J. °, Van der Wall E. E. *
From the Department of Radiology
°Division of Nuclear Medicine
*Department of Cardiology
Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
Background. The presence of a left bundle branch block (LBBB) pattern on the electrocardiogram may frequently lead to perfusion defects in the septum not necessarily due to ischemic heart disease, but probably due to abnormal septal wall motion. The introduction of gated single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) allows the evaluation of myocardial perfusion and function in one study. Accordingly, we analysed perfusion and function and the relation between perfusion and regional function in the septal region in patients with a LBBB without evidence of a previously sustained myocardial infarction.
Methods. We selected 37 patients with a LBBB without a history of a previous myocardial infarction, which was confirmed by echocardiography and/or coronary angiography. All patients underwent technetium-99m tetrofosmin gated SPECT myocardial imaging. Twelve control patients with a low likelihood of coronary artery disease and a normal technetium-99m tetrofosmin gated SPECT myocardial perfusion scintigram were selected as a reference population. The left ventricle (LV) was divided into 18 segments, which were scored for perfusion and function (wall motion and wall thickening) on a 4-point scale.
Results. The average LV end-diastolic volume was higher and the average LV ejection fraction was lower in patients with LBBB as compared to controls (142±90 vs. 81±18 ml, and 48±19 vs 62±7%, p=0.03 and p=0.02, respectively). Not only in the septum, but also in the other segments, reduced myocardial perfusion and abnormal wall motion/wall thickening was observed in the patients with LBBB (p<0.0001 vs controls). Patients with LBBB showed no correlation between perfusion and function in the septum, and between perfusion in septum and global LV function (r=0.21, p=0.2; r=0.10, p=0.6, respectively). Conversely, a good correlation was found between perfusion and function, either regional or global, in the remote segments (both r=0.79, p<0.0001).
Conclusions. We conclude that patients with LBBB without a previous myocardial infarction show cardiomyopathic changes with perfusion and wall motion abnormalities, involving the entire left ventricle. The severity of diminished septal perfusion is not directly associated with the severity of septal wall motion abnormalities or global LV function. However, in the myocardial segments remote from the septum, reduced perfusion is closely associated with functional abnormalities.