Unusual extracardiac findings detected on myocardial perfusion single photon emission computed tomography studies with Tc-99m sestamibi

Gedik G. K., Ergun E. L., Aslan M., Caner B.

CLINICAL NUCLEAR MEDICINE, vol.32, no.12, pp.920-926, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/rlu.0b013e318159661b
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.920-926
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The authors describe the incidence and various uptake patterns of Tc-99m sestamibi (MIBI) in the extracardiac area due to unusual causes on myocardial perfusion single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies. Seven patients are presented in whom incidental extracardiac findings were observed during the interpretation of the raw data besides the routine evaluation of myocardial reconstructed SPECT slices. These 7 patients were detected out of 582 consecutive patients (1.2%) who had myocardial perfusion SPECT with Tc-99m MIBI. The findings on the raw data led to additional reconstruction of thoracic SPECT images and eventually detailed examination of the extracardiac area. Two of the patients underwent surgery because of incidental extracardiac findings (thymoma and multinodular goiter) on cardiac scintigraphy. Other causes of increased extracardiac activity were the intestine protruded through the left hemithorax, uptake in the pulmonary arterial wall, and pulmonary interstitial fibrosis due to sarcoidosis. The reasons for decreased Tc-99m MIBI accumulation in the extracardiac area in the 2 other patients were significantly dilated pulmonary arteries and hydatic cyst, which were not defined before to our knowledge. Familiarity with the normal biodistribution and variable uptake patterns in the raw images becomes necessary during the interpretation of myocardial SPECT in order not to miss very unusual incidental extracardiac uptake or information that could lead to alteration in patient management. Potential underlying mechanisms of extracardiac Tc-99m MIBI accumulation are discussed, and the literature about noncardiac Tc-99m MIBI findings detected on myocardial perfusion SPECT studies was reviewed.