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Myocardial Perfusion Imaging: Protocols, Radiotracers and Imaging Systems to Reduce Radiation Exposure

Linda Giering, PhD

*Medical Writer, Matawan, New Jersey.
Address correspondence to: Linda Giering, PhD. E-mail: lindagiering@gmail.com.

Disclosures: The author reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.


Cardiac imaging procedures have come under increasing scrutiny as a result of high volume utilization, concerns over inappropriate use, a lack of adherence to quality control and the potential of cancer risks attributable to ionizing radiation exposure. Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) play a central role in coronary artery disease diagnosis, but concerns exist regarding the radiation burden to patients and healthcare providers. Today's combined rest/stress SPECT MPI studies deliver a radiation dose to the patient of about 12 mSv using standard instrumentation, conventional reconstruction and traditional doses, 10 mCi at rest and 30 mCi at stress, which can be reduced significantly with new instrumentation, software, and optimized imaging protocols. Imaging protocols, advances in camera design, and new software algorithms provide the opportunity to improve study quality, increase laboratory efficiency, and reduce radiation exposure compared to conventional methods without compromising diagnostic accuracy. These advances, along with appropriate patient selection and a patient-centered approach to imaging, provide important opportunities to reduce radiation exposure to patients as well as healthcare providers.

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