Thallium-201 myocardial imaging during coronary vasodilation induced by oral dipyridamole

K. L. Gould, S. G. Sorenson, P. Albro, J. H. Caldwell, T. Chaudhuri, G. W. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Myocardial perfusion imaging of 201Tl injected during maximum exercise has been an important diagnostic tool for coronary artery disease. Pharmacologic coronary vasodilation by i.v. infusion of dipyridamole may be used in lieu of exercise stress for purposes of diagnostic perfusion imaging. However, i.v. dipyridamole is not currently available from commercial sources for widespread routine use. Accordingly, this study was carried out in order to determine whether high dose, oral dipyridamole would be useful as a coronary vasodilator for purposes of diagnostic perfusion imaging. Fifty-eight patients undergoing diagnostic coronary arteriography also had myocardial perfusion imaging with 201Tl under the conditions of rest, maximum exercise stress, and high dose oral dipyridamole. Of those patients who had a defect on exercise thallium images, 75% also had a perfusion defect on thallium images after high dose oral dipyridamole. These results indicate that oral dipyridamole causes sufficient coronary arteriolar vasodilation and increase of coronary flow in nonstenotic arteries to identify perfusion defects comparable to those seen on maximum exercise stress in at least 75% of cases. In 25% of patients with exercise defects, no perfusion defect was seen after oral dipyridamole. Thus, oral dipyridamole is a potent coronary vasodilator, comparable to exercise stress in most cases, but in a minority of patients may not be comparable to exercise stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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