BACKGROUND: Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is an important prognostic tool in evaluating coronary artery disease (CAD), with a high negative predictive value (NPV) for the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events (MACE). The prognostic value of SPECT is disputed in women, patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), diabetes, left bundle branch block (LBBB) and renal impairment.
METHODS: Seven hundred sixty-two patients without prior history of CAD who had SPECT without perfusion deficits were followed for 2 years for MACE. Predictive variables for the occurrence of MACE were reviewed by Cox proportional hazard regression, considering clinical information, resting-ECG data and SPECT data.
RESULTS: The NPV of SPECT for the occurrence of MACE within 2 years was 95.8 %. Multivariate Cox regression revealed male gender as the only significant predictor for the occurrence of MACE, besides a positive stress ECG at SPECT and a low LVEF. AF, LBBB, renal impairment and diabetes had no significant effect on the prognosis after normal SPECT.
CONCLUSION: SPECT with normal perfusion images has great NPV in a medium-sized clinic in the Netherlands, even in patients with LBBB, AF, diabetes and renal impairment. MACE-free survival, however, was negatively influenced by male gender; we therefore propose more caution in men.