Michael Merhige, MD, and colleagues from the Department of Nuclear Medicine at SUNY-Buffalo presented the results of a study of 57 patients who had been on lipid-lowering therapy (LLT) for an average of 3 years.
"LLT is routinely recommended for patients with or at risk for coronary artery disease (CAD), but it has been difficult to assess how aggressive to be with this therapy in individual patients," said Merhige. "In our study, PET myocardial perfusion imaging [MPI] showed that CAD continued to progress in one out of four patients who appeared to have adequate control of lipids with LLT therapy. PET MPI allows us to tailor the aggressiveness of medical management to optimize outcomes for individual patients."
CAD is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States and affects more than 7 million individuals in this country. More than half a million Americans die each year from CAD and CAD-related illnesses. Medical therapy aimed at reducing CAD typically includes a prescribed combination of a low-fat/low-carbohydrate diet, exercise, cessation of smoking, medications aimed at lowering lipids, and control of additional risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension. Although this therapy reverses the progress of CAD in some patients, others require more aggressive treatment.
"Nuclear medicine physicians with PET MPI capability are uniquely situated to provide cardiologists with an objective assessment of whether LLT in the individual patient is, in fact, effective in arresting or reversing CAD," says Merhige. "PET MPI should be considered routine in assessing the efficacy of LLT in patients with known
Contact: Karen Lubieniecki
Society of Nuclear Medicine