Myocardial perfusion abnormalities in chemical warfare patients intoxicated with mustard gas
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Mustard agents are of the major chemical agents used during Iran–Iraq war. There are no reports concerning long-term cardiac effects. The aim was to assess the scintigraphic pattern of myocardial perfusion in patients intoxicated with blistering gases.
We analyzed myocardial perfusion scans of 22 consecutive intoxicated patients (21 male and 1 female, all < 44 years) and compared results with 14 controls. Only those patients and controls were entered whose 10-year risk of coronary artery disease (Framingham criteria) was <5%. Also only those patients were experimented upon that had currently other confirmed complications of intoxication (respiratory, cutaneous and ocular complications). All patients underwent a 1-day stress and rest protocol using 99mTc-MIBI. Images were assessed visually and quantitatively using Cedars Sinai program.
The prevalence of nonhomogeneity of uptake and left and right ventricular enlargement in both visual and quantitative analyses were higher in the mustard exposed patients than unexposed controls. The prevalence of ischemia was higher in the exposed patients (P < 0.05). Cavity to myocardium ratio, as an established and validated measure of ejection fraction, was also significantly lower in the warfare patients than the controls.
In so far it lies in our knowledge, this is the first report concerning the scintigraphic pattern of myocardial perfusion in mustard intoxicated patients. Based on the results, the pattern of myocardial perfusion in these patients is significantly different from normal controls, which could resemble either coronary artery disease or mild cardiomyopathic changes.
KeywordsMyocardial perfusion scintigraphy 99mTc-sestamibi Chemical warfare Mustard agents
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We are indebted to Dr. Armaghan Fard-Esfahani, Dr. Davood Beiki, Dr. Babak FallahiSichani, and Dr. Mohammad Eftekhari, (Research Institute for Nuclear Medicine, Shariati Hospital) for their consultations throughout the investigation and their suggestions. Thanks are also extended to the technologists at our institute (especially Mr. Hajami, Mr. Derakhshandeh, and Ms. Abedi) for data acquisition.
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