Non-Invasive Imaging Technology for Precise Diagnosis

On the search for the reason why
blood does not flow properly
© NCI Visuals Online

"This work presents a new non-invasive cardiac imaging technology for the assessment of ischemic heart disease caused by the narrowing of heart arteries," said Zohar Keidar, deputy director of the nuclear medicine department at Rambam HealthCare Campus in Haifa, Israel. "This new modality or technique enables in a single imaging session accurate evaluation of cardiac blood vessel narrowing and blood supply to the heart muscles."

These initial results suggest that the novel non-invasive imaging technology will enable more precise diagnosis of coronary artery disease, thus leading to treatment tailoring in the individual patient who may be directed to either invasive or conservative medical procedures."

Myocardial perfusion imaging using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is an established method for assessing the physiologic significance of coronary lesions in patients with chest pain. Computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) is an X-ray-based exam of the blood vessels or chambers of the heart. Cardiac SPECT/CT technology combines two imaging modalities of the heart in a single device: the CT coronary angiography showing the cardiac vessels and SPECT perfusion imaging for detecting blood flow abnormalities in the cardiac muscle, he explained. "To the best of my knowledge these are the first results of cardiac SPECT/CT in a clinical setting," he added.

Researchers used the experimental (not commercially available) Infinia LS SPECT/CT research device, combining an Infinia gamma camera and a Light Speed16 CT Scanner to enable a concurrent assessment of blood flow and coronary anatomy.

Primary results indicate that SPECT/CTCA provides more accurate information as compared to data obtained when each of the two studies is performed as a stand-alone test, noted Keidar. Additional research must be done with large and homogenous groups, such as patients with diabetes or with a history of myocardial infarction and patients who have had bypass graft surgery, he added. Technological issues that need to be addressed and evaluated include assessment of improved CT technology (64 slices vs. the current 16 slices) and SPECT technology (shorter acquisition time), detailed Keidar.; Source: Society of Nuclear Medicine