, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 562-565

Radiation exposure from radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging: Concerns and solutions

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Introduction

Radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging (RMPI) is an invaluable tool in the diagnosis and management of coronary artery disease (CAD). However, with the rising use RMPI and other imaging procedures, radiation exposure from these studies has become an increasing concern among health care providers, patients, and policy makers. Recent studies evaluating the extent of radiation exposure and projected cancer risks related to medical imaging have significantly increased the visibility of this issue. The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements recently reported a six-fold increase in radiation exposure from medical imaging since 1980.1 Over 20% of all radiation exposure from medical imaging has been attributed to RMPI alone.2 A recent analysis projected that the 9.1 million myocardial perfusion scans performed annually in the United States could result in 7400 additional future cancers.3 In the wake of such reports, Congress has held hearings to investigate th