Downstream clinical implications of abnormal myocardial perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography based on appropriate use criteria

Farhan J. Khawaja, Hayan Jouni, Todd D. Miller, David O. Hodge, Raymond J. Gibbons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Appropriate use criteria (AUC) for single-photon emission computed tomography myocardial perfusion images (SPECT-MPI) were developed to address the growth of cardiac imaging studies. However, these criteria have not been vigorously validated. We sought to determine the rate of abnormal stress SPECT-MPI studies and subsequent revascularization procedures as categorized by AUC. Methods: We retrospectively examined 280 patients who underwent stress SPECT-MPI and categorized these studies as appropriate, inappropriate, or uncertain based on AUC. Data regarding subsequent angiography and revascularization within 6 months after stress SPECT-MPI were collected from the electronic medical record. Results: 280 patients met the inclusion criteria (mean age 67.3 ± 11.4 years, 36 % female). When categorized by AUC, 62.9 % (N = 176) of stress SPECT-MPI were considered appropriate, 13.6 % (N = 38) uncertain, and 23.6 % (N = 66) inappropriate. Appropriate stress SPECT-MPI studies were more likely to have intermediate or high risk results than uncertain or inappropriate studies [40 % (N = 71) vs. 21 % (N = 8) and 18 % (N = 12), respectively; P = 0.008)]. Appropriate studies were associated with an increased rate of coronary angiography [14 % (N = 25)] compared to the uncertain (0 %) and inappropriate [3 % (N = 2)] studies (P = 0.003). There was also an increased rate of revascularization after appropriate studies [9 % (N = 16)] compared to the uncertain (0 %) and inappropriate (0 %) studies (P = 0.006). Conclusions: Appropriate stress SPECT-MPI studies are more likely to result in abnormal results requiring subsequent revascularization compared to inappropriate and uncertain stress studies. Inappropriate and uncertain stress SPECT-MPI did not lead to subsequent revascularization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1048
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Appropriate use criteria
  • cardiac stress testing
  • coronary artery disease
  • myocardial perfusion imaging
  • single-photon emission computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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