Rupa Sanghani, M.D., FASNC, associate professor, Rush Medical College, director of nuclear cardiology and stress laboratory, Rush University Medical Center, and associate director, Rush Heart Center for Women, explains how to create a high-volume cardiac positron emission tomography (PET) imaging program. She spoke on this topic at the 2019 meeting of the American Society Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) and led a tour for attendees of the PET-CT system at Rush, which was located close to the conference.
Sanghani said the advantages of PET myocardial perfusion imaging include faster exam times and allowing additional information from coronary reserve flow assessments to better understand if revascularization will help a patient's heart recover. The 16-slice CT scanner is used not only to attenuate the PET images, but to perform a CT calcium scoring exam to assess the patient's risk for future cardiovascular events. The Rubidium-82 radiotracer used for PET exams only has a 75 second half life, so it can help increase the number of exams a center is able to perform each day. At higher volume centers, PET is optimized to handle all the patients who require pharmacological stress exams.
In the video, Sanghani outlines what Rush did to design its room, covers basics on training, what to look for in a scanner and other considerations when creating a PET program.
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