Integrating Cardiology for Nuclear Medicine Physicians

pp 379-385

PET Radiopharmaceuticals in Nuclear Cardiology: Current Status and Limitations

  • James R. BallingerAffiliated withNuclear Medicine Department, Guy’s & St. Thomas’ Hospitals

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PET was developed in the 1970s primarily for studies of the brain. However, interest in cardiac PET grew in the 1980s, leading to more widespread availability of whole body PET scanners. This in turn contributed to the application of PET in oncology, which mushroomed in the 1990s. Growth in cardiac PET has, however, been more modest and shows great variation among countries. Many cardiac PET studies are performed using radiopharmaceuticals developed for other purposes, primarily 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose and 15O-water, although a significant fraction of studies use the strontium-82/ rubidium-82 generator developed specifically for cardiac PET. The properties of PET radiopharmaceuticals currently in clinical use for myocardial perfusion and metabolism will be reviewed (Tables 32.1 and 32.2), followed by discussion of agents which may become more widely used in the future.