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The Potential Value of Hybrid Positron Emission Tomography/Dual-Source Computed Tomography Imaging in Coronary Bypass Surgery


Background: We evaluated how comprehensive assessment of coronary artery lesions and their hemodynamic relevance by means of hybrid positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) imaging would affect decision-making in coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), compared with using invasive coronary angiography (ICA) alone.

Methods: After undergoing ICA, 27 patients (21 men and 6 women; mean SD age, 66 10 years) planned for cardiac surgery were scheduled for myocardial perfusion stress/rest evaluation with [13N]ammonia PET and CT coronary angiography. Only ICA was available to the surgeon. Postoperatively, the performed CABG was compared with the hypothetical strategy based on hybrid PET/CT findings (regional coronary flow reserve [CFR], myocardial perfusion defects). Procedures included CABG (n = 18) alone, CABG combined with valve replacement (n = 6), and CABG combined with isolated valve replacement (n = 3). A total of 56 bypass grafts (28 venous and 28 arterial) and 66 distal anastomoses were placed.

Results: CT evaluation showed 93% concordance (66/71) with ICA regarding significant stenoses, with sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of 93.1%, 98.7%, 94.4%, and 98.4%, respectively. In the PET scan, 16 patients had 1 ischemic region, and 12 patients had 1 scar region, including 5 patients who presented with mixed conditions (scar and ischemia). One patient had a completely normal myocardium. Compared with the performed surgery, PET/CT fusion evaluation showed that of the performed anastomoses, 48% had documented ischemia (with a CFR <2 in 86%), 38% were nonischemic (although a CFR value <2 was found in 78%), and 14% had scar tissue (fixed perfusion defect).

Conclusions: Although <50% of bypasses were placed to areas with myocardial ischemia, the CFR was low in the majority of nonischemic regions, a finding that may have important prognostic relevance. PET/CT fusion imaging could potentially influence planning for CABG and provide incremental prognostic information.

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