Low-dose CT from myocardial perfusion SPECT/CT allows the detection of anemia in preoperative patients

A.G. Gennari, H. Grunig, D.C. Benz, S. Skawran, A. Maurer, A.M.A. Abukwaik, A. Rossi, C. Gebhard, R.R. Buechel, M. Messerli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background. To assess whether low-dose CT for attenuation correction of myocardial perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) allows for identification of anemic patients and grading anemia severity.Methods and Results. Patients who underwent a preoperative blood-test and low-dose CT scan, as a part of a cardiac SPECT exam, between 01 January 2015 and 31 December 2017 were enrolled in this retrospective study. Hemoglobin (Hb) levels and hematocrit were derived from clinical records. CT images were visually assessed (qualitative analysis) for the detection of inter-ventricular septum sign (IVSS) and aortic rim sign (ARS) and quantitative analysis were performed. The diagnostic accuracy for detecting anemia was compared using Hb values as the standard of reference. A total of 229 patients were included (110 with anemia; 57 mild; 46 moderate; 7 severe). The AUC of IVSS and ARS were 0.830 and 0.669, respectively (p<0.0001). The quantitative analysis outperformed ARS and IVSS; (AUC of 0.893, p=0.29). The optimal anemia cut-off using Youden index was 4.5 HU.Conclusion. Quantitative analysis derived from low-dose CT images, as a part of cardiac SPECT exams, have a diagnostic accuracy similar to that of hematocrit for the detection of anemia and may allow discriminating different anemia severities.[GRAPHICS].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3236–3247
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
Issue number6
Early online date17 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Anemia
  • Hematocrit
  • Hemoglobin
  • Tomography
  • X-ray computed
  • Emission-computed
  • Single-photon

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