Single Photon Emission Tomography in the Diagnostic Assessment of Cardiac and Vascular Infectious Diseases

Author(s): Ismaheel O. Lawal, Janke Kleyhans, Kgomotso M.G. Mokoala, Mariza Vorster, Thomas Ebenhan, Jan Rijn Zeevaart, Mike M. Sathekge*

Journal Name: Current Radiopharmaceuticals

Volume 14 , Issue 3 , 2021

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Graphical Abstract:


Cardiac and vascular infection is an arising cause of mortality and morbidity in the adult population. Diagnosis based on culture and anatomic imaging are frequently inconclusive. Radiolabeled leucocyte scintigraphy plays a useful role in the diagnosis and management of these serious infectious conditions. In this paper, we present an update on the diagnostic performance of single- photon emission tomographic (SPECT) techniques using different radionuclides in the management of patients with cardiac and vascular infections. We performed a thorough search of recent literature on the topic. We present a discussion on the clinical utility of different SPECT tracers in cardiac and vascular infections, including infective endocarditis, cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) infections, left ventricular assist device infection, and vascular graft infection. Radionuclide technique using SPECT tracers is a useful imaging modality in the diagnosis of cardiac infection. Among the different SPECT tracers for infection imaging, radiolabeled leucocyte scintigraphy is currently the most useful tool in the diagnosis and management of patients with suspected cardiac and vascular infection. Radiolabeled leucocyte scintigraphy has a high specificity, a result of the ability of the leucocytes to accumulate as sites of pyogenic infection but not at sites of sterile inflammation such as seen in the early post-operative period or in response to the presence of a prosthetic cardiac or vascular material. Limited experience with radiotracers for in vivo labelling of leucocytes such as 99mTc-sulesomab and 99mTc-besilesomab show acceptable diagnostic performance without the need for the tedious process of ex-vivo labeling. 67Ga scintigraphy used to be popular for cardiac and vascular infection imaging. Its use has run out of favor following the availability of more effective molecular imaging methods. SPECT techniques with radiolabeled leucocyte scintigraphy has a high diagnostic performance in the evaluation of patients with suspected cardiac or vascular infection. It is able to confirm or reject the presence of infection when results of anatomic imaging or culture remain inconclusive. Its diagnostic performance is not compromised by sterile inflammation occurring in the early post-operative period or in response to implanted prosthetic materials.

Keywords: Infective endocarditis, prosthetic valve, cardiac implantable electronic device, left ventricular assist device, vascular graft infection, radiolabeled leucocyte scan, SPECT imaging.

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Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 21 June, 2020
Page: [242 - 258]
Pages: 17
DOI: 10.2174/1874471013666200621190001
Price: $65

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PDF: 144