Impaired myocardial SPECT imaging secondary to silicon- and saline-containing breast implants

  • Curtiss T. Stinis
  • Paul E. Lizotte
  • Mohammad-Reza Movahed


Early detection of coronary artery disease (CAD) in women has been challenging. Women are more likely to present with atypical symptoms, and non-invasive evaluation for CAD has been less accurate. Myocardial SPECT imaging is a well-established technique that provides important physiologic, anatomic, and prognostic information in women. Attenuation artifacts secondary to breast tissue are a common problem in women and can lead to decreased specificity of gated SPECT imaging. Cosmetic breast implants are increasing in popularity. The presence of a foreign object overlying the anterior wall of the heart in addition to native breast tissue can significantly increase attenuation artifacts. There is only one report to date describing attenuation artifact due to silicon breast implants in comparison to control, and there are no reports regarding saline breast implants. Here we report three cases of impaired myocardial SPECT imaging in women with breast implants: one patient with silicone implants, and two with saline-containing implants. Clinicians should be aware of this problem and women should be educated regarding the potential future diagnostic problems that may occur with breast implants before considering this cosmetic surgery.

Key words

attenuation breast implant gated SPECT saline implant silicon implant 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Curtiss T. Stinis
    • 1
  • Paul E. Lizotte
    • 2
  • Mohammad-Reza Movahed
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of CardiologyUniversity of California, Irvine Medical CenterOrangeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, Division of Nuclear MedicineUniversity of California, Irvine Medical CenterOrangeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Division of CardiologyUniversity of California, Irvine Medical CenterOrangeUSA

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