Prognostic value of dipyridamole thallium imaging after acute myocardial infarction in older patients

Sudhir Jain, John B. Baird, Keith C. Fischer, Michael W. Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To assess the utility of intravenous dipyridamole thallium testing for predicting major cardiac events following acute myocardial infarction in older patients. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study with a median follow-up of 18 months. SETTING: A university teaching hospital. PARTICIPANTS: 73 patients aged 65 years and older with enzymatically confirmed acute myocardial infarction (mean age 75 years, 56% male, 71% white). MEASUREMENTS: All patients underwent a detailed clinical assessment, an echocardiogram, and an intravenous dipyridamole thallium stress test before hospital discharge. The study endpoint was death or nonfatal reinfarction during the follow-up period. RESULTS: Overall, 24 patients (33%) died or developed recurrent myocardial infarction during follow-up. Among 44 patients with a reversible thallium defect, 19 (43%) reached the study endpoint, compared with only five of 29 patients (17%) without reversible ischemia (P = .04). On multivariate analysis, independent prognostic variables included non-use of aspirin at hospital discharge (P = .002), decreased left ventricular systolic function (P = .009), non-use of a beta- blocker at hospital discharge (P = .013), and reversible ischemia on thallium scintigraphy (P = .025). The relative risks for death or reinfarction associated with non-use of aspirin, non-use of a beta-blocker, left ventricular dysfunction, and reversible ischemia were 2.65, 2.39, 2.01, and 2.51, respectively. Patients with three or four of these risk factors had an 83% probability of death or reinfarction, compared with 41% in patients with two risk factors and 6% in patients with one or no risk factor (P < .001). CONCLUSION: Intravenous dipyridamole thallium imaging provides independent prognostic information in older patients with acute myocardial infarction. Moreover, the combination of clinical, echocardiographic, and dipyridamole thallium variables effectively stratifies older postinfarction patients into high-, intermediate-, and low-risk categories for death or recurrent myocardial infarction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-301
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • Aged
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Pharmacologic stress testing
  • Prognosis

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