Patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) can be evaluated for myocardial viability by examining reverse redistribution of Thallium-201 (201TI) through cardiac scintigraphy. There is limited knowledge about association of a reverse redistribution with favorable cardiac outcomes. In this study, we hypothesized that higher left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), lower myocardial necrosis, fewer ischemic events, and less angina will be associated with reverse redistribution of 201TI imaging.


Adult patients with stable CAD included in this study underwent exercise-redistribution Thallium single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and were followed for one year. LVEF and regional wall motion abnormalities were evaluated with echocardiography, exercise duration by bicycle testing, and myocardial ischemia and viability by Thallium SPECT.


We studied 159 patients (87 men, 72 women, median age 60 years, range: 38-84) with well-developed collaterals. Those with reverse redistribution on SPECT (n = 61, 38.3%) had significantly better exercise tolerance (⩾85%; P < .001). Subjects with reverse redistribution had better LVEF (P < .001), wall motion parameters (P < .001), a lower degree of myocardial necrosis (P < .05), less angina during follow-up (P = .02), and fewer ischemic events whether treated with OMT or PCI (P < .001).


Reverse redistribution of 201Tl on scintigraphic images is a predictor of myocardial viability. Evidence from our study suggests that optimally treated chronic CAD patients with reverse redistribution may have lower likelihood of future adverse cardiovascular events and better prognosis.

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