Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine (also called molecular imaging) includes positron emission computed tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. Nuclear imaging is achieved by injecting small amounts of radioactive material (radiopharmaceuticals) into patients before or during their scan. These can use sugars or chemical traits to bond to specific cells. The radioactive material is taken up by cells that consume the sugars. The radiation emitted from inside the body is detected by photon detectors outside the body. Computers take the data to assemble images of the radiation emissions. Nuclear images may appear fuzzy or ghostly rather than the sharper resolution from MRI and CT.  But, it provides metabolic information at a cellular level, showing if there are defects in the function of the heart, areas of very high metabolic activity associated with cancer cells, or areas of inflammation, data not available from other modalities. These noninvasive imaging exams are used to diagnose cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, bone disorders and other disorders. 

Jamie Bourque, MD, discusses fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and its growing use cases in cardiac PET imaging He discussed the radiotracer in sessions at ASNC 2023. #ASNC #ASNC23 #ASNC2023

The expanding scope of FDG-PET in nuclear cardiac imaging

Jamie Bourque, MD, spoke to Cardiovascular Business about the growing number of ways FDG-PET scans are being used in cardiology. This includes evaluating inflammation, tracking EP device infections and much more. 

November 16, 2023
Robert Hendel, MD, Tulane University and former ASNC president, explains the pressing business aspects of nuclear cardiology and why ASNC included business management sessions at its 2023 annual meeting. #ASNC #ASNC23 #ASNC2023

Business considerations in the modern nuclear cardiology practice

Robert Hendel, MD, discussed everything from declining reimbursements in cardiology to prior authorization policies in an exclusive new interview. 

October 13, 2023
Timothy Bateman, MD, co-director, cardiovascular radiologic imaging program, Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, professor of medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, and an ASNC past-president, is one of the authors on the AURORA study. He spoke with Cardiovascular Business about the study and what it is like to work with flurpiridaz.

Flurpiridaz will have a major impact on cardiac PET and nuclear imaging

The new radiotracer flurpiridaz is poised to make a major impact on nuclear cardiology. Timothy Bateman, MD, co-director of the cardiovascular radiologic imaging program at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, shared details on the tracer in a new interview. 

October 10, 2023
ovaries ovarian cancer

Pretargeted radioimmunotherapy shows early promise in treating aggressive ovarian cancer

The new-look nuclear medicine treatment was able to cure advanced ovarian cancer in some mice, with limited side effects.

September 22, 2023
Video interview with ASNC President President Mouaz Al-Mallah, MD, who explains why nuclear cardiology needs to upgrade its technology to be competitive. #ASNC #ASNC2023 #ASNC23

Previewing ASNC 2023: Why nuclear cardiology needs to evolve

ASNC President President Mouaz Al-Mallah, MD, said nuclear cardiology needs to upgrade old imaging systems and embrace new technology to deliver better value for patients. 

September 19, 2023
artificial intelligence healthcare industry digest

ChatGPT knows a lot about PET scans, but its advice is inconsistent

The popular AI chatbot got most of the answers it was asked by researchers right, but its reliability is still up in the air.

September 15, 2023

Experts advocate for more intensive head-and-neck cancer follow-up using FDG-PET/CT

Scientists believe this is the first series demonstrating a significant survival difference in patients monitored with an intensive follow-up strategy via 18F-fludeoxyglucose–positron emission tomography.  

August 11, 2023

Tau PET the best tool to predict rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s

Given the approach’s “superior prognostic value,” experts urged for the incorporation of tau PET into routine clinical evaluation in memory care clinics. 

August 11, 2023

Around the web

Monique Rasband, KLAS vice president of strategy and research for imaging, shares the trends she is seeing in the specialty.

Radiologists need better access to patient data stored in the electronic medical record, imaging IT expert Rik Primo explains. 

Imaging IT expert Rik Primo discusses emerging issues he saw at RSNA and HIMSS.

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