Is There an Age When Myocardial Perfusion Imaging May No Longer Be Prognostically Useful?

Fernanda Erthal, Alomgir Hossain, Sharmila Dorbala, Leslee J. Shaw, Marcelo F. Di Carli, Michael E. Merhige, Brent A. Williams, Emir Veledar, James K. Min, Daniel S. Berman, Robert A. deKemp, Rob S.B. Beanlands, Benjamin J.W. Chow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death, and the prevalence of coronary artery disease is expected to increase as the population ages. It is important to understand the clinical utility of medical tests, or its lack thereof, in the aging population. The objective of this study was to understand the incremental prognostic value of positron emission tomographic (PET) myocardial perfusion imaging in the elderly (≥85 years of age). METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 3343 patients enrolled in a multicenter observational PET registry were analyzed. Participants were initially divided into 3 age categories: 65 to 74.9, 75 to 84.9, and ≥85 years of age and followed for all-cause death. Median follow-up time was 3 years. Of the total patient population, 248 patients (49% men) were ≥85 years old. When compared with younger patients, individuals ≥85 years had a higher prevalence of hypertension (79%) and a lower incidence of dyslipidemia (54%) and diabetes mellitus (24%). On multivariable analysis, %left ventricular stress defect and %left ventricular ischemia were predictors of patient outcome for those <85 years of age but was not statistically significant in those ≥85 years of age. The prognostic value of PET (%left ventricular stress defect and %left ventricular ischemia) appeared to decrease with advancing age. CONCLUSIONS: The elderly is a high-risk population irrespective of PET myocardial perfusion imaging results, and incremental prognostic value of PET myocardial perfusion imaging appears to wane in those ≥85 years of age. Although PET myocardial perfusion imaging may be diagnostically useful in the elderly, its prognostic value in this population requires further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e007322
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • aged
  • coronary artery disease
  • humans
  • positron emission tomography
  • prognosis


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