PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to evaluate and compare the incidence and aspects of myocardial perfusion defects in patients who were subjected to either two-dimensional or three-dimensional simulation techniques for early left-sided breast cancer. The myocardial perfusion defects were determined from using single photon emitted computerized tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion images. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between January 2002 and August 2003, 32 patients were enrolled in this study. The patients were diagnosed as having early (AJCC stage T1-T2N0M0) left-sided breast cancer and were treated with tangential irradiation after breast-conserving surgery and systemic chemotherapy. The patients were divided into two groups according to the type of simulation received: two-dimensional simulation using an X-ray fluoroscope simulator or three-dimensional simulation with a CT simulator. All patients underwent technetium- 99m-sestamibi gated perfusion SPECT at least 3 years after radiotherapy. The incidence and area of myocardial perfusion defects were evaluated and were compared in the two groups, and at the same time left ventricular ejection fraction and cardiac wall motion were also analyzed. The cardiac volume included in the radiation fields was calculated and evaluated to check for a correlation between the amount of irradiated cardiac volume and aspects of myocardial perfusion defects. RESULTS: A myocardial perfusion defect was detected in 11 of 32 patients (34.4%). There were 7 (46.7%) perfusion defect cases in 15 patients who underwent the two-dimensional simulation technique and 4 (23.5%) patients with perfusion defects in the three-dimensional simulation group (p=0.0312). In 10 of 11 patients who had myocardial perfusion changes, the perfusion defects were observed in the cardiac apex. The left ventricular ejection fraction was within the normal range and cardiac wall motion was normal in all patients. The irradiated cardiac volume of patients in the three-dimensional simulation group was less than that of patients who received the two-dimensional simulation technique, but there was no statistical significance as compared to the incidence of perfusion defects. CONCLUSION: Radiotherapy with a CT simulator (three-dimensional simulation technique) for early left-sided breast cancer may reduce the size of the irradiated cardiac volume and the incidence of myocardial perfusion defects. Further investigation and a longer follow-up duration are needed to analyze the relationship between myocardial perfusion defects and clinical ischemic heart disease.