Nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging versus stress echocardiography in the preoperative evaluation of patients for kidney transplantation

Janice N. Thai, Aiden Abidov, Tun Jie, Elizabeth A. Krupinski, Phillip H. Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and appropriate use of SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (SMPI) versus stress echocardiography in the preoperative evaluation of patients for kidney transplantation. Methods: A single-institution, retrospective study was performed. SMPI was performed with regadenoson and stress echocardiography predominantly with dobutamine. Findings on subsequent coronary angiography were correlated. A cost analysis for SMPI versus stress echocardiography was modeled using reimbursements from the Center for Medicare Services. Results: One hundred thirteen patients underwent imaging (53 SMPI and 60 stress echocardiography). One hundred percent of SMPI studies were diagnostic, compared with only 80% (48/60) in the stress echocardiography group, and this result was statistically significant (χ2 5 7.96, P < 0.01). The most common reason for a nondiagnostic test was not reaching the target heart rate. In the SMPI group, 15% (8/53) of patients had ischemia on imaging and all underwent subsequent coronary angiography, which confirmed obstructive coronary lesions. One patient with a negative SMPI result underwent a subsequent angiogram that was negative. In the stress echocardiography group, 5% (3/60) of patients had ischemia on imaging and 2 underwent subsequent angiography, which was negative. Three of 12 patients with nondiagnostic examinations underwent further testing. One patient underwent a follow-up positive SMPI scan but no subsequent coronary angiography. The other 2 patients underwent coronary angiography, which was negative. Of the 45 negative stress echocardiography patients, 6 (13%) underwent angiography, with a positive result for obstructive coronary artery disease in 3 of 6. For the modeling of cost analysis, rates of $1,173 and $1,521 (Center for Medicare Services) were used for SMPI and stress echocardiography, respectively. The model assumed that all nondiagnostic imaging would be referred for further stress testing (i.e., nondiagnostic stress echocardiography would be referred for SMPI). This model estimated that initial noninvasive testing with stress echocardiography versus SMPI resulted in a 50% greater cost. Conclusion: For the preoperative evaluation of kidney transplantation, SMPI is more often diagnostic than stress echocardiography. A cost model estimates that initial noninvasive diagnostic testing with stress echocardiography would result in an approximately 50% greater cost than SMPI. Our data also suggest that SMPI has greater diagnostic accuracy than stress echocardiography. Therefore, this single-institution experience supports SMPI as the more appropriate test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-205
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015


  • Cardiac risk stratification
  • Cost analysis
  • Kidney transplant evaluation
  • Myocardial perfusion imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging versus stress echocardiography in the preoperative evaluation of patients for kidney transplantation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this