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. 

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