Vol 6, No 1 (2003)
Published online: 2003-01-03

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Nuclear imaging techniques in the assessment of myocardial perfusion and function after CABG: does it correlate with CK-MB elevation?

Paweł Kwinecki, Marek Jemielity, Rafał Czepczyński, Artur Baszko, Marek Ruchała, Jerzy Sowiński, Wojciech Dyszkiewicz
Nucl. Med. Rev 2003;6(1):5-9.


BACKGROUND: An increase of the creatine kinase MB (CK-MB) isoenzyme after cardiac surgery suggests perioperative myocardial infarction. The interpretation is more difficult when increased enzymes are not accompanied by electrocardiographic markers of infarction. The aim of this study was to correlate the results of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) and radionuclide ventriculography (RNV) with CK-MB isoenzyme level in patients without ECG abnormalities after CABG.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: 36 patients (age: 52.5 ± 8.5 years, 33M/3F) treated with CABG were prospectively studied. CK-MB level was assessed at 0, 4, 8, 12, 24, 36, 48 and 72 hours after surgery. MPI (SPECT using Tc-99m-MIBI) and RNV were performed 2 weeks before and 3–4 months after surgery. All patients had an uneventful hospitalisation. The subjects were divided into two groups: group 1 with CK-MB increase > 50 IU/ml (n = 9) and group 2 with CK-MB levels ≤ 50 IU/ml (n = 27). There was no difference between the groups regarding the number of diseased arteries, haemodynamic parameters, aortic clamping time or the number of grafts.
RESULTS: Perfusion improvement at stress and at rest was significantly lower in group 1 than in group 2. The ejection fraction did not change significantly in both groups (ΔEF = 0.6 ± 13.5 in group 1 v. 0.7 ± 9.7 in group 2, p = NS), however, in 5 patients from group 1 (56%) and in 6 patients from group 2 (22%) the EF decreased significantly at follow-up RNV (p = 0.05). In 6 patients (5 in group 1 and 1 in group 2) a new defect of perfusion was found at follow-up MPI. The sensitivity and specificity of increased CK-MB level in predicting perfusion deterioration were 83% and 87%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that patients with an increased level of CK-MB isoenzyme (> 50 IU/ml) after coronary artery surgery have a higher rate of perfusion and function deterioration. The increase of CK-MB level early after coronary bypass surgery in patients without ECG markers of perioperative infarction indicates a probable ischaemic insult during surgery.

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