Coronary Artery Disease in Women: Lessons Learned from Single-Center SPECT Registry and Future Directions for INOCA Patients

Barbara Vītola (Coresponding Author), Karlis Trusinskis, Iveta Mintale, Marika Kalnina, Andrejs Erglis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Background and objectives: Myocardial perfusion imaging with cardiac single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) is widely available for the detection of coronary artery disease (CAD) with high diagnostic and prognostic accuracy for women. A large proportion of symptomatic women with true myocardial perfusion defects in SPECT referred to coronary angiography have an absence of CAD—a condition named INOCA (ischemia with nonobstructive CAD). Additionally, the INOCA endotypes are rarely correctly diagnosed, and therefore, no tailored therapy is prescribed. Materials and methods: The cardiac SPECT for women was performed from 2018 to 2021. Patients with perfusion defect were analyzed according to further prescribed diagnostic tests used to diagnose CAD. According to the diagnostic criteria, patients with INOCA were selected as candidates for invasive microvascular physiology measurements. The correlation was calculated between SPECT results and clinical characteristics, symptoms, and risk factors. Results: A total of 726 women with suspected CAD were analyzed. True myocardial perfusion defects were detected in 125 patients (17.2%). During coronary angiography in 70 (56.0%) women, atherosclerosis in epicardial arteries was not observed. In 17 (20.9%) patients, obstructive CAD was present. Correlation was found between perfusion defect in SPECT and cardiovascular risk factors, including overweight, obesity, arterial hypertension, and dyslipidemia. Women with typical angina were more likely to have INOCA, but with “noncardiac” symptoms—CAD. In total, 68 female patients met three inclusion criteria for INOCA and were selected as candidates for invasive diagnostic testing. Conclusions: The created registry proves the important role of cardiac SPECT and great need for the development of invasively detected physiological measurements. The combination of both interventions could significantly change the future directions for INOCA patients, improving treatment strategies and clinical outcomes, especially knowing the number of risk factors and varying clinical presentation. The study will be continued by performing invasive testing of coronary microvascular function to expand the competence about what is known about INOCA patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1139
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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