Thallium 201 kinetics in stunned myocardium characterized by severe postischemic systolic dysfunction

Carl A. Moore, James Cannon, Denny D. Watson, Sanjiv Kaul, George A. Beller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The hypothesis tested in this study was that despite the presence of severe postischemic myocardial dysfunction ("stunning"), the extraction and subsequent intracellular washout of thallium 201 should be preserved as long as irreversible sarcolemmal membrane injury was avoided. To produce myocardial stunning, 19 open-chested dogs with a critical left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) stenosis underwent 10 5-minute periods of total LAD occlusion, each interspersed by 10 minutes of reperfusion by refiow through the critical stenosis. In another 12 control dogs observed for the same time period, no LAD occlusions were performed after placement of the critical stenosis. Hemodynamics, regional myocardial thickening by quantitative two-dimensional echocardiography, and microsphere-determined regional blood flows were serially measured. In 18 stunned dogs, systolic thickening in the LAD zone was markedly reduced to 0.4±2.4% at 40 minutes after the 10th reperfusion period compared with 32.5±2.2% thickening (p<0.001) in 12 control dogs at a matched time. The 201T1 first-pass extraction fraction determined by a double-isotope method using intracoronary 201T1 administration was comparable after the 10th reflow in a subgroup of 13 stunned (0.78) and six control (0.79) dogs. The T1/2 for the intracellular washout rate was also not significantly different in another group of six stunned (60 ±13 minutes) and six control (53 ±14 minutes) dogs, nor was the percentage of the 201T1 dose initially distributed in the interstitial compartment (11 ±3% vs. 7±2%). Systemic hemodynamics and regional flows were comparable in the two groups at 40 minutes after the 10th reflow. No dog had evidence of myocardial necrosis by triphenyl tetrazolium chloride staining. Thus, normal myocardial 201T1 extraction and washout kinetics are observed in a canine model of severe postischemic dysfunction (stunning) produced by repetitive brief LAD occlusions. These findings might have important clinical implications concerning the application of rest 201T1 scintigraphy for evaluation of perfusion and viability in patients with coronary artery disease and regional myocardial asynergy that is ultimately reversible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1622-1632
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Regional myocardial perfusion
  • Thallium 201

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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