The autonomic nervous system interacts in the pathophysiology of heart failure. Dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system has been identified as an important prognostic marker in patients with chronic heart failure. At present, cardiac sympathetic nerve imaging with 123-iodine metaiodobenzylguanidine [123-I MIBG] has been employed most frequently for the assessment of cardiac sympathetic innervation and activation pattern. The majority of studies have shown that cardiac sympathetic dysfunction as assessed with 123-I MIBG imaging is a powerful predictor for heart failure mortality and morbidity. Additionally, 123-I MIBG imaging can be used for prediction of potentially lethal ventricular tachyarrhythmias in heart failure patients. At present however, the lack of standardization of 123-I MIBG imaging procedures represents an evident issue. Standardized criteria on the use of 123-I MIBG imaging will further strengthen the clinical use of 123-I MIBG imaging in heart failure patients.
Keywords: Cardiac 123-iodine metaiodobenzylguanidine imaging, heart failure, heart-to-mediastinum ratio, myocardial sympathetic innervation, prognosis, ventricular arrhythmia, clinical cardiology, cardiac dysfunction, american heart association, tachyarrhythmias, angiotensin II