I-123-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) is a new radiopharmaceutical with properties that allow the characterization of the sympathetic innervation of several organ systems. In this study, we used MIBG with tomographic imaging to evaluate noninvasively the differences in myocardial sympathetic innervation in 14 healthy volunteers and 16 patients with severe dilated cardiomyopathy (CM). Initial (15-minute) images demonstrated no significant differences in MIBG concentration in the hearts of patients with CM and of healthy volunteers. However, the myocardial retention of MIBG was significantly reduced in the patients with CM. Expressed as the percent washout from 15 to 85 minutes, the patients with CM had a 28 ± 12% washout rate compared with 6 ± 8% in the controls (p < 0.001). A small subset of patients from each group imaged at 4-hour intervals demonstrated even greater disparity in washout rates. In addition, the patients with CM had significantly greater heterogeneity in the MIBG activity distribution within the myocardial images. There was 47 ± 15% intraimage variability in MIBG distribution in the patients with CM and 22 ± 9% variation in the controls (p < 0.001). We conclude from these data that the myocardial distribution and kinetics of MIBG in images obtained from patients with CM differ significantly from those of controls and that the MIBG patterns may be used as a relatively noninvasive means to evaluate the severity of altered adrenergic innervation in the hearts of these patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)