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Manjula Puthenedam, PhD,

PET imaging plays an important role in the assessment of myocardial blood flow and can guide interventions for preventing the development of future cardiovascular events. For instance, researchers have used PET with sympathetic stress for risk assessment of coronary endothelial function--the earliest indication for coronary atherosclerosis, according to an article published in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology.

Spectrum Dynamics has shipped and installed its second D-SPECT cardiac imaging system using Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) nuclear imaging modules from a new supplier, Redlen Technologies.

Both PET and CT are excellent cardiac imaging modalities, but does their individual value hold up when combined in a hybrid scanner? The tentative answer seems to be no, with a few exceptions.

While nuclear cardiologists await a normal supply of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), they have found ways to cope, including using other radiopharmaceuticalswhich can challenge standard protocolsor by relying more on PET and CT imaging.

U.S. cardiologists are experiencing a 36 percent cut in SPECT imaging reimbursement as part of the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS). As a result, cardiology practices nationwide are trying to survive, while hoping that cardiology advocacy groups can persuade CMS that the dramatic cuts will potentially hurt patient care and increase healthcare costs in the long term.

Intracavitary injections of anti-cancer compound 131I-TM601 were well tolerated and improved overall survival in the treatment of recurrent malignant glioma, according to the presentation at the 2009 joint meeting of the Society of Neuro-Oncology (SNO) and American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons (AANS/CNS) section on tumors in New Orleans last week.