Cardiac PET (or cardiac positron emission tomography) is a form of diagnostic imaging in which the presence of heart disease is evaluated using a PET scanner. Intravenous injection of a radiotracer is performed as part of the scan. Commonly used radiotracers are Rubidium-82, Nitrogen-13 ammonia and Oxygen-15 water.
The requirements to perform Cardiac PET imaging include:
- Facility: taking into consideration clinical workflow, as well as regulatory requirements such as requisite shielding from radiation exposure
- Capital equipment: PET or PET/CT scanner
- Radiopharmaceutical: Rubidium-82 generator system or close access to cyclotron produced isotopes such as Nitrogen-13 ammonia
- Personnel: including specialty trained physician, radiation safety, physics, nursing, and technologist support
- Operations: stress test monitoring, as well as emergency response equipment, processing and review workstations, administrative and support personnel are additional considerations
This form of diagnostic imaging has traditionally been perceived as cost-prohibitive in comparison to general nuclear medicine cardiac stress testing using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). However, due to significant gains in access to scanners, related to the widely accepted role of PET/CT in clinical oncology, cardiac PET is likely to become more widely available, particularly given various clinical and technical advantages that might make this a potential test of choice in the diagnosis of coronary artery/heart disease.
Cardiac PET imaging has now been expanded to mobile services to facilitate rural areas by a company called Nuclear Imaging Services located in Houston, TX. They now have the first Medicare approved mobile Cardiac PET scanner available for patient use.
- Ghosh, N; Rimoldi OE, Beanlands RS, Camici PG (December 2010). "Assessment of myocardial ischaemia and viability: role of positron emission tomography". European Heart Journal 31 (24): 2984–2995. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehq361. PMID 20965888.
- K Nandalur, B Dwamena, A Choudhri, et al., "Diagnostic Performance of Positron Emission Tomography in the Detection of Coronary Artery Disease: A Meta-analysis" Academic Radiology, Vol 15, No 4, April 2008