A questionnaire was sent to all departments of nuclear medicine in Denmark (n=20) asking for details of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), including the number of patients examined each year from 1997 to 2001 and the current clinical and technical practice. All (100%) departments replied, and the survey thus covers all MPI performed in Denmark during the period in question. The number of MPI studies (examined patients) was 2,531 in 1997 (0.47 MPI/1,000/year) and 4,961 (0.93 MPI/1,000/year) in 2001, which is a doubling in activity in 5 years. Nineteen (95%) of the Danish departments performed MPI in 2001, and 14 (74%) of these reported that activity had increased over the past 5 years. MPI activity was unevenly distributed between hospitals and regions. In 2001, the university hospitals in the central Copenhagen region (capital) accounted for the highest MPI activity (2.00/1,000/year), while the non-university hospitals in general had the lowest activity rate (0.73/1,000/year). The most pronounced increment found in the period was observed in the university hospitals outside Copenhagen, where activity increased by 300% from 0.44/1,000/year in 1997 to 1.33/1,000/year in 2001. All departments providing MPI used tomographic acquisition technique and all departments used technetium tracers. The more sophisticated techniques of MPI - gated acquisition, attenuation correction and iterative reconstruction - were used in 74%, 32% and 42% of departments, respectively. The stress mode in perfusion studies was dipyridamole/adenosine in 76%, exercise in 18% and dobutamine in 6%. Despite these encouraging figures, MPI activity for 2001 remained well below what is recommended by other national and international societies. The anticipated further increase in nuclear cardiology is encouraging, but the nuclear medicine community needs to address the issues that prevent it from keeping up with demand. In general, the restricted camera time and the limited number of trained personnel explain the excessive waiting lists in Denmark.
BACKGROUND: Cardiac dysfunction has been reported in a substantial part of patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, most studies are from a time before the introduction of highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART), which has significantly reduced HIV-associated morbidity and mortality rates. Accordingly, the prevalence of HIV-associated cardiac dysfunction may also have changed. The aim of the study was to establish the prevalence of right- and left-sided cardiac dysfunction in a Danish HIV population, most of whom were undergoing HAART, with radionuclide ventriculography. METHODS: Ninety-five consecutive patients with HIV infection were included. Mean HIV duration was 104 months, and 84% of the patients received HAART. All patients underwent radionuclide ventriculography, and plasma levels of atrial natriuetic peptide (ANP), brain natriuetic peptide (BNP), and endothelin-1 (ET-1) were measured. Thirty age- and sex-matched healthy volunteer subjects were included to establish reference values of radionuclide measurements of left and right ventricular ejection fraction and of left ventricular volume. RESULTS: Of 95 patients with HIV, 1 (1%) had a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction and 6 (7%) had a reduced right ventricle ejection fraction (0.35-0.42) compared with reference values from the age- and sex-matched reference population. Patients with HIV and reduced cardiac function did not differ in the duration of HIV, CD4 count, CD4 nadir, or HIV RNA load. No correlations were found between reduced cardiac function and levels of the 3 peptides measured. CONCLUSIONS: No major dysfunction of the left ventricle is present in a developed world HIV population. However, a small but significant part of this population has modestly reduced right-sided systolic function.
Comment In: Am Heart J. 2004 Nov;148(5):e1815523296