Failure of dipyridamole-thallium myocardial imaging to detect severe coronary disease

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Three patients referred for peripheral vascular surgery who died of coronary artery disease complications despite normal dipyridamole-thallium scans are discussed. Although recent literature has shown enthusiasm for this test in this clinical setting, the dipyridamole-thallium scans are not absolute and patients remain at risk for major coronary artery events. Careful clinical screening and awareness of the signs of left main coronary disease on thallium images are important in the evaluation of these patients.



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