Downward myocardial creep during stress PET imaging is inversely associated with mortality

Keiichiro Kuronuma, Robert J.H. Miller, Chih Chun Wei, Ananya Singh, Mark H. Lemley, Serge D. Van Kriekinge, Paul B. Kavanagh, Heidi Gransar, Donghee Han, Sean W. Hayes, Louise Thomson, Damini Dey, John D. Friedman, Daniel S. Berman, Piotr J. Slomka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The myocardial creep is a phenomenon in which the heart moves from its original position during stress-dynamic PET myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) that can confound myocardial blood flow measurements. Therefore, myocardial motion correction is important to obtain reliable myocardial flow quantification. However, the clinical importance of the magnitude of myocardial creep has not been explored. We aimed to explore the prognostic value of myocardial creep quantified by an automated motion correction algorithm beyond traditional PET-MPI imaging variables. Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing regadenoson rest-stress [82Rb]Cl PET-MPI were included. A newly developed 3D motion correction algorithm quantified myocardial creep, the maximum motion at stress during the first pass (60 s), in each direction. All-cause mortality (ACM) served as the primary endpoint. Results: A total of 4,276 patients (median age 71 years; 60% male) were analyzed, and 1,007 ACM events were documented during a 5-year median follow-up. Processing time for automatic motion correction was < 12 s per patient. Myocardial creep in the superior to inferior (downward) direction was greater than the other directions (median, 4.2 mm vs. 1.3–1.7 mm). Annual mortality rates adjusted for age and sex were reduced with a larger downward creep, with a 4.2-fold ratio between the first (0 mm motion) and 10th decile (11 mm motion) (mortality, 7.9% vs. 1.9%/year). Downward creep was associated with lower ACM after full adjustment for clinical and imaging parameters (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.93; 95%CI, 0.91–0.95; p < 0.001). Adding downward creep to the standard PET-MPI imaging model significantly improved ACM prediction (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve, 0.790 vs. 0.775; p < 0.001), but other directions did not (p > 0.5). Conclusions: Downward myocardial creep during regadenoson stress carries additional information for the prediction of ACM beyond conventional flow and perfusion PET-MPI. This novel imaging biomarker is quantified automatically and rapidly from stress dynamic PET-MPI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1622-1631
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • Dynamic myocardial perfusion imaging
  • Myocardial flow reserve
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Regadenoson
  • Rubidium


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