Atrioventricular block during adenosine thallium imaging

Academic Article


  • Transient atrioventricular (AV) block has been reported during adenosine thallium imaging. This study examined the predictors and hemodynamic implications in 55 patients who had second- or third-degree AV block (group 1) and compared the results with those in 803 patients who did not have AV block (group 2). There were no significant differences in age, sex, or heart rate at baseline between the two groups. ST segment depression was observed in 25% of patients in group 1 and 16% in group 2 (p = NS). Chest pain occurred in 56% in group 1 and 44% in group 2 (p = NS). Preexisting conduction abnormalities (17% vs 16%) and treatment with digitalis (15% vs 15%) and β-blockers (31% vs 36%) were similar in the two groups. The results of thallium imaging were abnormal in 66% in group 1 and 67% in group 2 (p = NS). Reversible thallium defects were seen in 51% in group 1 and 52% in group 2 (p = NS). The AV block appeared during the first 2 minutes of infusion in 40 patients (73%) and disappeared despite continuation of infusion in 43 (78%). The heart rate during AV block was 79 ± 18 beats/min, and the systolic blood pressure was 127 ± 27 mm Hg. Premature termination of adenosine infusion was required in one patient (2%). Aminophylline was used in 5% in group 1 and 2% in group 2 (p = NS). Thus AV block is transient, occurs during the early minutes of infusion, is not aggravated by digitalis or β-blocker therapy, can be seen in patients with normal perfusion images, and is often well tolerated. © 1992.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lee J; Heo J; Ogilby JD; Cave V; Iskandrian B; Iskandrian AS
  • Start Page

  • 1569
  • End Page

  • 1574
  • Volume

  • 123
  • Issue

  • 6