New guide helps clinicians better diagnose coronary artery disease using PET myocardial blood flow

Two of molecular imaging’s top professional organizations on Wednesday published new guidelines for using positron emission tomography to better diagnose coronary artery disease.

Measuring myocardial blood flow as part of perfusion imaging has been a key development in the field and should be part of providers’ daily workflow, experts said in a statement on Thursday.

With this in mind, the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology created step-by-step approaches for interpreting and reporting such data, sharing the guide in their respective medical journals.

Covering everything from the “six distinctive” areas of clinical benefit to case examples showing how blood flow data should inform decision-making, the guide leaves no stone left unturned.

“While there are many excellent publications on all aspects of PET blood flow quantification, we felt that there existed a gap, especially for nuclear physicians practicing in non-academic centers,” Timothy Bateman, MD, a lead author of the writing committee composed of world-renowned leaders in cardiac PET.

Also included in the 20-page statement are tips for ensuring consistent, high-quality MBF measurements, quality control steps for interpreting physicians, software model guidance, an explanation of potential challenges, and a glossary of key words among other information.

“This practical guide was written to be a relatively easy read, and we hope will be helpful to expand implementation of blood flow measurements into daily clinical cardiac PET practice,” Bateman, co-director of Cardiovascular Radiologic Imaging Program at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart and Vascular Institute in Kansas City, Missouri added.

Click here to access the full “Practical Guide for Interpreting and Reporting Cardiac PET Measurements of Myocardial Blood Flow” published in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology and Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

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