Diagnostic accuracy of exercise thallium-201 scintigraphy in men with asymptomatic essential hypertension

William L. Chin, Brian O'kelly, Julio F. Tuhau, Jadwiga Szlachcic, David Brown, Judith A. Wisneski, Susan Ammon, Barry M. Massie

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12 Scopus citations


Coronary artery disease is responsible for much of the morbidity and mortality in patients with essential hypertension, and these complications have proven to be relatively resistant to antihypertensive therapy. However, the diagnosis of coronary disease in the hypertensive population has been considered problematic. In the present study, 30 asymptomatic patients with mild to moderate hypertension with positive exercise electrocardiograms (ECG) or stress thallium-201 scintigrams underwent coronary angiography to determine the accuracy of these tests for coronary artery disease. The exercise ECG was positive in 25 subjects, of whom 15 had significant coronary lesions and 10 did not. Thallium-201 scintigraphy proved more accurate: 17 of 18 patients with reversible abnormalities had significant obstructive coronary disease anatomically corresponding to the defect, one patient with a fixed defect had normal coronary arteries and was found to have an idiopathic cardiomyopathy, and 9 of 11 without defects had no significant lesions. The results were similar in populations with and without echocardiographic criteria for left ventricular hypertrophy. These findings indicate that despite previous suggestions to the contrary, thallium-201 scintigraphy can accurately diagnose coronary artery disease in most patients with asymptomatic essential hypertension, and that most asymptomatic hypertensive patients with physiologic evidence of myocardial ischemia have associated coronary artery disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1992


  • 201T1 scintigraphy
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Exercise testing
  • Hypertension
  • Left ventricular hypertrophy


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