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Moving into the next era of PET myocardial perfusion imaging: introduction of novel 18 F-labeled tracers

Rudolf A Werner, Xinyu Chen, Steven P Rowe, Constantin Lapa, Mehrbod S Javadi, Takahiro Higuchi
International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging 2018 October 17
The heart failure epidemic continues to rise with coronary artery disease as one of its main causes. Novel concepts for risk stratification to guide the referring cardiologist towards revascularization procedures are of significant value. Myocardial perfusion imaging using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) agents has demonstrated high accuracy for the detection of clinically relevant stenoses. With positron emission tomography (PET) becoming more widely available, mainly due to its diagnostic performance in oncology, perfusion imaging with that modality is more practical than in the past and overcomes existing limitations of SPECT MPI. Advantages of PET include more reliable quantification of absolute myocardial blood flow, the routine use of computed tomography for attenuation correction, a higher spatiotemporal resolution and a higher count sensitivity. Current PET radiotracers such as rubidium-82 (half-life, 76 s), oxygen-15 water (2 min) or nitrogen-13 ammonia (10 min) are labeled with radionuclides with very short half-lives, necessitating that stress imaging is performed under pharmacological vasodilator stress instead of exercise testing. However, with the introduction of novel 18 F-labeled MPI PET radiotracers (half-life, 110 min), the intrinsic advantages of PET can be combined with exercise testing. Additional advantages of those radiotracers include, but are not limited to: potentially improved cost-effectiveness due to the use of pre-existing delivery systems and superior imaging qualities, mainly due to the shortest positron range among available PET MPI probes. In the present review, widely used PET MPI radiotracers will be reviewed and potential novel 18 F-labeled perfusion radiotracers will be discussed.


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