News | PET-CT | July 25, 2017

New PET-CT Scan Improves Detection in Rare Cardiac Condition

Full-body scan of cardiac sarcoidosis patients could reveal other areas affected by the disease

New PET-CT Scan Improves Detection in Rare Cardiac Condition

July 25, 2017 — Using a new nuclear imaging technique that can diagnose cardiac sarcoidosis much more accurately than traditional tests, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have found the disease affects other organs in 40 percent of known patients with cardiac sarcoidosis. The findings are published in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology.

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that often attacks multiple organs, particularly the lungs, heart and lymph nodes, and disproportionately affects African-Americans. Sarcoidosis can be very difficult to diagnose using available tests and available imaging techniques.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans and computed tomography (CT) scans, as well as scans that combine information from each, have been used in the diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis, but the results are often unclear and hard to interpret, and lead to many false negatives.

A new combined PET-CT scan technique developed at UIC incorporates a 72-hour high-fat, low-sugar diet before images are taken. The new scan provides much clearer images of sarcoidosis and lets physicians better detect cardiac sarcoidosis. In a previous UIC study, researchers were able to diagnose cardiac sarcoidosis much more accurately and could diagnose cases that would not have been picked up using the usual 24-hour high-fat, low-sugar protocol normally prescribed before the combined PET-CT scans.

In the current study, the researchers used the new protocol to investigate the relationship between the presence of cardiac sarcoidosis and sarcoidosis in other parts of the body.

"We wanted to know if patients being evaluated for cardiac sarcoidosis would benefit from more thorough imaging of the body beyond the usual torso scan, using this new technique," said Nadera Sweiss, M.D., professor of rheumatology in the UIC College of Medicine and an author on the paper.

The researchers performed full-body (nose to knees) PET-CT scans of 188 patients who followed the 72-hour pre-test diet between Dec. 2014 and Dec. 2015 at the University of Illinois hospital, UI Health. Of the 20 scans that were positive for cardiac sarcoidosis, eight, or 40 percent, revealed sarcoidosis in other parts of the body.

"This study indicates that more extensive, full-body scans of patients with known cardiac sarcoidosis can uncover secondary sites of the disease in a significant number of patients," said Sweiss, who is also director of UI Health's Bernie Mac Sarcoidosis Translational Advanced Research (STAR) Center. "Knowing there is disease in organs other than the heart changes the way we approach treatment — it allows us to more accurately stage the disease and treat it accordingly."

Sweiss cautioned that the technique for detecting sarcoidosis outside and within the heart needs to be further tested, and its ultimate contribution to outcomes in patients with cardiac sarcoidosis will need to be evaluated.

For more information: www.onlinejnc.com

 

Read the article "Recent Advances in Cardiac Nuclear Imaging Technology." 

Watch the VIDEO "PET vs. SPECT in Nuclear Cardiology and Recent Advances in Technology." An interview with Prem Soman, M.D., director of nuclear cardiology at the Heart and Vascular Institute, University of Pittsburgh, and president-elect of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC), explained advances in PET and SPECT imaging. 

Watch the VIDEO "Trends in Nuclear Cardiology Imaging." A discussion with David Wolinsky, M.D., director of nuclear cardiology at Cleveland Clinic Florida and past-president of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC), discusses advancements in nuclear imaging and some of the issues facing the subspecialty. 

Related Content

High Intensity Exercise in Teenagers Could Ward Off Heart Disease

Ultrasound image of the carotid artery. Lines in yellow were used to determine arterial diameter and stretching before and following exercise.

News | Cardiac Diagnostics | July 16, 2018
New research published in Experimental Physiology has indicated potential differences in heart health benefits of...
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | June 14, 2018
A team of researchers says it has linked sensitivity to an allergen in red meat to the buildup of plaque in the...
The blood of patients with familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS) can appear milky in color (lipemic) due to the buildup of fat in their body. Image courtesy of Akcea Therapeutics.

The blood of patients with familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS) can appear milky in color (lipemic) due to the buildup of fat in their body. Image courtesy of Akcea Therapeutics.

 

Feature | Cardiac Diagnostics | May 07, 2018 | Steven D. Freedman, M.D., Ph.D.
 
Male Triathletes May Be Putting Their Heart Health at Risk
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | January 09, 2018
Competitive male triathletes face a higher risk of a potentially harmful heart condition called myocardial fibrosis,...
ERT Acquires iCardiac Technologies
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | December 19, 2017
ERT recently announced it has acquired iCardiac Technologies, a provider of centralized cardiac safety and respiratory...
New Study Suggests Protein Could Protect Against Coronary Artery Disease

Patients with no obstructed blood flow in the coronary arteries had higher levels of CXCL5 (blue) compared to patients with moderate levels (green) or lower levels (yellow) of CXCL5, who had increased severity of coronary obstructions (indicated by the arrows). Credit: Schisler lab

News | Cardiac Diagnostics | December 07, 2017
December 7, 2017 — The buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries is an unfortunate part of aging.
E-cigarettes Most Likely to be Used by Alcohol Drinkers and Former Cigarette Smokers, at American Heart Association (AHA), #AHA2017.
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | December 06, 2017
December 6, 2017 — Electronic cigarettes are more frequently used by people who recently quit smoking and alcohol dri
Lack of sleep may cause heart disease in older women. American heart Association, #AHA2017
News | Cardiac Diagnostics | December 06, 2017
December 6, 2017 — Older women who do not get enough sleep were more likely to have poor cardiovascular health, accor
Overlay Init