PET and the Heart
Coronary Heart Disease is the single largest killer of American men and women. Coronary Heart Disease occurs when the arteries of the heart are blocked. Every 30 seconds, an American suffers a heart attack because of such a blockage, and 40 percent die within a year. More than 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease and many more, an estimated 25% of the middle-aged population, are unaware of their illness until they succumb to an attack. In the U.S., Coronary Heart Disease accounts for one-third of all deaths each year. Therefore, early detection and diagnosis is required with the best test available.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) diagnoses heart disease, non-invasively, with 96-98% accuracy in patients. We have specialized software for measuring quantitative coronary blood flow and can interpret those measures to each specific patient’s clinical situation. The Cardiac PET Perfusion study is the newest version of the “routine” cardiac stress test. The “PET Stress Test” is considered the best, non-invasive stress test available to diagnose coronary artery disease.
- Speedier Scan Times – approximately 45 minutes as opposed to 2-1/2 to 4 hours for the old SPECT scan,
- Patient Exposure to Radiation is cut in half – our scanner reduces patient exposure to radiation, and Rubidium, the agent used in the scan, has a short half-life, so the amount of radiation exposure is substantially less than a chest x-ray.
- Improved Images – PET provides clearer, more precise 2D images better suited for detection of disease.
- Avoidance of Unnecessary Procedures – Test images are so accurate, procedures such as stent implantation and even coronary bypass surgery might be avoided.
Other conditions that can be diagnosed with Cardiac PET which are often overlooked:
Individuals with pacemakers and defibrillators are safe to have Cardiac PET imaging. Patients no longer need cardiac MRIs or biopsies to diagnose conditions that once were much more difficult to diagnose.