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When it counts: Shortening imaging time for individuals with suspected heart problems

SAN DIEGO, Calif.--Researchers discovered that the time spent on a myocardial perfusion single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging study--also called a cardiac stress/rest test--can be cut in half using a trademarked, innovative reconstruction technology. These results--from researchers at Cardiac Imaging of Augusta and the Medical College of Georgia--were presented at SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 37 in San Diego.

"Using UltraSPECT's Wide Beam Reconstruction (WBR)TM can reduce imaging time by 50 percent and improve image quality--without introducing artifacts (distortions) or deleting useful information," said Danny Basso, a certified nuclear medicine technologist and manager with Cardiac Imaging of Augusta. "This allows for increased patient comfort, less patient motion and increased throughput (rate of receiving data) for the nuclear medicine department," added the co-author of "A Clinical Evaluation of a Wide Beam Reconstruction Method for Shortening Scan Time of Gated Cardiac Rest/Stress SPECT." WBR is an algorithm "that uses modeling to reduce the bad counts and increase the good counts by placing the counts where they are suppose to be," explained Basso. "This same technology can be used to improve other molecular imaging/nuclear medicine procedures as well," he added.

A myocardial perfusion SPECT imaging study--also called a cardiac stress/rest test--helps evaluate a patient's heart's blood supply. About 7.5 million individuals--or 1 in every 40 Americans--undergo these cardiac scans every year. A radiotracer, a compound containing both a radioactive isotope and a pharmaceutical agent, is injected into a patient's vein. The radioactive isotope releases energy, and a technologist uses a special gamma camera to acquire multiple images from numerous angles of that energy. A computer can be used to apply a tomographic (sectional) reconstruction algorithm to the multiple projections, yielding 3-D information. Physi
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@snm.org
703-708-9000
Society of Nuclear Medicine
5-Jun-2006


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