Nuclear cardiology society chief says problem has clear solution
The shortage of technetium-99m (99mTc) — the main radiotracer used for single-photo emission CT myocardial perfusion imaging (SPECT-MPI) — is a problem that could be solved by adopting cardiac positron emission tomography (PET), according to the president of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.
A link found between a shortage of 99mTc and a subsequent rise of excess catheterization was not necessarily just due to the substitution of inferior SPECT-MPI radiotracers, such as thallium-201, said Brian G. Abbott, MD, of Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
The real culprit was the fact that alternative tests — namely stress echocardiography, CT coronary angiography, PET — were not administered to make up for the 99mTc deficiency, he suggested, which left patients heading directly to cardiac catheterization without sufficient imaging. Read more.