Why PET Will Surpass SPECT in the Future

When it comes to imaging technology in the next 3-5 years, PET technology will solidify itself as the go-to source for molecular imaging over other technologies. While both PET, or positron emission tomography, and SPECT, or single photon emission computed tomography, are great options with their own pros and cons, PET is a faster exam, exposes patients to less radiation, and is a more cost-effective solution when one considers downstream procedures. Read more about the comparison between the two below. 

Breaking Down the Technology

PET scan cardiology images are known for their high-quality images, as the resolution is inherently better than that of SPECT technology. Generally speaking, PET scans offer resolutions of 5-7mm while SPECT images have a resolution of 12-15mm. In fact, research shows that as many as one in 10 scans that appear as “normal” on SPECT technology would show up as “abnormal” on PET technology. This false negative statistic is seemingly small but it packs a punch, nodding to the fact that misdiagnosis occurs far less often on a PET machine. 

You may be wondering about the different processes that PET and SPECT scans use in order to produce results. The main difference between the two boils down to the type of radiotracers that are used. SPECT scans utilize gamma rays while PET scans utilize radiopharmaceuticals, producing small particles referred to as positrons. These positrons help create images of internal organs and lead to more accurate results. 

Looking Ahead

The future of PET scan cardiology is bright and our team is thrilled to be a part of it! The next generation of cardiac PET agents will be even more promising as they are hoping to address unmet clinical needs. 

If you’re interested in learning more about our services or what we can do to help, please get in touch with us today.

COVID-19 & Patient Safety

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has undoubtedly taken the world by storm. Our team at Cardiac Imaging, Inc. wants you to know that our operations continue as usual with some additional precautions. In fact, not only are we an essential provider, but our business model is perfectly designed to minimize human contact while simultaneously providing the care that our patients need. 

Here are some precautions that we are taking during this time:

  • A separate and self-contained mobile coach is an ideal environment in which to perform stress tests.
  • Our mobile units receive frequent deep cleanings and our clinical staff sanitizes all equipment and frequently touched surfaces between each patient.
  • Patients may wait in their vehicles and check-in directly with Cardiac Imaging staff so there is no interaction with the practice.
  • Cardiac PET scans take a total of 45 minutes to complete compared to a SPECT stress test that can take 3-4 hours. This minimizes patient exposure to staff and other patients while onsite.
  • We have extended our patient schedule so that there is no overlap of patients on the coach, whereas SPECT patients must have a dedicated waiting space or must return a second day for the rest/stress protocol to reduce interaction and exposure.
  • Third-party SPECT providers must bring equipment and staff into the practice, resulting in potential exposure to staff and patients.

There’s nothing we take more seriously than the safety of our staff, patients, and our community. We review all updates to the CDC’s guidelines to ensure we practice the most effective sanitary protocols while we continue with cardiac PET scans. If you have further questions about the measures that we are taking or if you want to schedule services with us, please get in touch with our team today.

The Leading Cardiovascular Diseases

Taking care of your heart is one of the most important tasks in life. A strong, healthy heart is pivotal to avoiding the development of cardiovascular disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, as nearly 610,000 people die every year. As providers of the gold standard pet scan technology, our team at Mobile Cardiac Imaging, Inc. wants to take note of the leading cardiovascular diseases. 

Heart Disease

Heart disease revolves around atherosclerosis, a condition that results from plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries. This condition narrows the arteries and forces your heart to work harder to push blood through. In the case that a blood clot forms, the result will be a blood clot or a stroke. Specific examples of heart disease include heart failure, congenital heart disease, mitral regurgitation, myocardial infarction, dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease. 

Heart Attack

In the case that a blood clot cuts off blood flow to part of the heart, a heart attack will likely occur. When this occurs, that portion of your heart begins to die because of the lack of blood flow. While many people ultimately survive their first heart attack, it’s a warning sign that changes need to be implemented including eating a healthier diet and getting more exercise. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help you repair any damage that was caused. 

Stroke

The most common type of stroke is an ischemic stroke and it occurs when a blood clot (or another type of blockage) blocks a blood vessel from traveling to the brain. When the blood supply is cut off, your brain cells will start to die, potentially resulting in a loss of functionality in areas such as walking or talking. The damage may be temporary if the cells don’t die, and the damaged cells can repair themselves over time.

Our Mobile PET Scan Technology Can Help

The aforementioned diseases are only a handful of examples. Hearts are vital organs that can, unfortunately, experience many problems and complications if they’re not properly cared for. If your medical practice is dedicated to providing the gold standard when it comes to mobile cardiac PET scanning, get in touch with us to see how we can help you with your diagnostic needs.

The Importance of ALARA & Minimizing Radiation Exposure

Those who undergo cardiac PET imaging may be worried about the level of radiation exposure that will take place during their imaging test. Rest assured that there is an ALARA principle in place for minimizing radiation exposure, which stands for As Low As Reasonably Achievable, to help limit the dosages of radiation exposure. This is a best practice in addition to being predicated on legal doses that are in place for all radiation safety programs. 

Why Does This Practice Exist?

Concerns revolving around radiation safety have existed for quite some time, as there’s an assumption that every radiation dose, regardless of its magnitude, can produce some level of harmful effects. For example, radiation exposure may result in an increased risk of genetic mutations or cancer. Because of ALARA, practical and cost-effective measures can help provide patients with peace of mind that everything possible is being done to keep them safe and healthy. 

The Implementation of ALARA

As providers of cardiac PET imaging, our staff is committed to providing an effective ALARA program for all of our patients. We implement the following safety principles to help make ALARA as effective as possible. 

  • We aim to minimize the time spent exposed to radiation
  • We double the distance between the patient’s body and the source of radiation to ultimately reduce exposure by a factor of 4. 
  • We utilize absorber materials to reduce the exposure of beta particles and gamma rays. 

We’re here to help make your process as safe as possible from the beginning to the end! Feel free to contact us with any further questions or concerns that you have.