Nuke med societies: Myocardial perfusion PET widely underutilized

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In many if not most cases, clinicians treating patients with suspected or known coronary artery disease would do well to order myocardial perfusion PET without delay.

That’s the gist of a position statement issued jointly this week by the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) and the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).

The societies encourage use of the imaging modality as the preferred, first-line exam for patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease who meet the criteria for a stress imaging test but are unable to exercise at a diagnostic level for the duration of such a test.

They also recommend it, albeit less strongly, as the go-to exam for various other situations.

The authors of the statement note that myocardial perfusion PET is safe, effective, efficient and uniquely fit to provide vital treatment guidance—or, in the case of negative findings, to rule out the need for drugs, additional tests and other anxiety-producing scenarios for the patient.

They underscore their recommendations by commenting that the test deserves wider use than it’s been getting.

“Among available noninvasive cardiac imaging options, [we] have noted significant underutilization of myocardial perfusion PET relative to its demonstrated advantages for patients being assessed for suspected clinically important coronary artery disease, and to its current wide availability in the United States,” they write.

Click here to read the full statement, which includes situational guidance, and here for a press release sent by perfusion-agent supplier Bracco.