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September 30, 2011
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News for and about nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular imaging professionals

  • ASNC launches campaign to improve nuclear imaging use
    The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology has launched a campaign, called Excellence in Imaging, that will promote the use of the appropriate use criteria in imaging among its members. "By taking a proactive stance on defining quality in nuclear cardiology and demonstrating our members' commitment to these defined quality measures, ASNC will lead the discussion about appropriate use and set the standards by which our patients receive optimal care," said Leslee J. Shaw, president of ASNC.

    Visit the ASNC website to make a pledge to join the Excellence in Imaging campaign. (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Catch up on ASNC2011 with Meeting on Demand: If you were unable to attend the 16th Annual Scientific Session or missed a session while in Denver, ASNC is pleased to offer a digital library of more than 100 presentations captured at ASNC2011. The ASNC2011 Meeting on Demand includes slide presentations linked with audio recordings to provide a complete re-cap of the meeting's most popular sessions. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Astellas is proud to sponsor “The Constellation of Appropriate Imaging,” an informative webinar on the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) for Radionuclide Imaging. Astellas is committed to nuclear cardiology and the promotion of responsible nuclear imaging that advances clinical practice and improves patients’ lives. Learn more and register here.

  Patient-Centered Imaging 
  • Study: Age is main predictor of silent ischemia in elderly
    Researchers who used a rest thallium/stress technetium-99m sestamibi protocol on patients who had underwent myocardial perfusion SPECT stress testing found that the common risk factors for silent ischemia, such as age, hypertension, diabetes and smoking, only predicted the disease in patients younger than 74, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology meeting. For patients aged 74 and older, the main predictor was age alone, the researchers said. "It could be that age alone is a very strong risk factor and perhaps in the elderly, the effect of age in causing silent ischemia overwhelms the other risk factors," said researcher Dr. Saurabh Malhotra from Krannert Institute of Cardiology in Indianapolis. MedPage Today (free registration) (9/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Expert: Proper patient selection key in nuclear cardiology
    It is important to weigh the benefits of nuclear imaging studies against potential risks, including radiation exposure, but it is even more important to ensure that only the right patients are undergoing imaging, said Dr. George A. Beller, a cardiologist at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, Va., during a session at the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology conference. Beller recommends that stress-only imaging be used for patients with low to intermediate risk and ECG alone for patients with low risk but are demonstrating good functional capacity. (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study assesses influence selection factors for exercise MPI
    Being a man, being able to speak English and being married are factors that are more likely to influence the ordering of exercise SPECT MPI rather than pharmacological stress test, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology meeting in Denver. Older patients and women have a higher chance of being referred for pharmacological stress testing, according to the study, led by Hartford (Conn.) Hospital researchers. In addition, the study found that insurance status does not influence the type of stress MPI that a patient would undergo. MedPage Today (free registration) (9/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Appropriate use criteria useful for stress SPECT MPI
    Appropriately ordered SPECT MPI scans yielded 36.8% abnormal studies, while inappropriately ordered tests gave out only 10.9% abnormal results, researchers reported at the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology meeting. The abnormal results from the inappropriate tests did not affect patient management, the researchers said. The results suggest that the "2009 appropriateness criteria perform fairly well for selected indications, with a lower yield among studies ordered inappropriately compared to those ordered appropriately," said researcher Dr. Archana Rajdev from Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn. MedPage Today (free registration) (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Register for the AUC Webinar on October 4th at 1 PM EST
Join us for the upcoming webinar discussing the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) for Radionuclide Imaging. Lead author Robert Hendel, MD, will provide an in-depth look at the AUC as well as key issues in nuclear cardiology including radiation, risk-benefit statements, and the asymptomatic patient statement. Learn more and register here.

  Research and Technology 
  • Studies: Regadenoson use is safe in exercise SPECT MPI
    A protocol involving exercise-first plus regadenoson reduced pharmaceutical use by 50% and exam time by six minutes compared with a dipyridamole-first plus exercise protocol, according to a study presented in Denver at the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology meeting. Another study presented at the same meeting found that the use of regadenoson injection is beneficial for patients who are not capable of reaching the ideal heart rate through exercise alone. MedPage Today (free registration) (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Stress testing, exercise testing similar in diagnosing CAD
    Pharmalogical stress testing performs comparably with exercise testing in diagnosing coronary artery disease, but combining low-level exercise with pharmacologic stress testing yields better results, reduces side effects of stress agents and improves diagnostic accuracy, researchers said during a presentation at the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology conference. The stress agent regadenoson can be combined with low-level exercise, the researchers said. (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Expert: AUC can help reduce unnecessary procedures
    The best way to ensure radiation safety is to reduce or eliminate unnecessary testing, and employing the appropriate use criteria can help in this area, said Dr. Robert Hendel, director of cardiac imaging and outpatient services at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Speaking at the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology meeting in Denver, Hendel said that it is still difficult to pinpoint when tests are being overused, underused or appropriately used, but one area to watch out for is serial testing, since it is during these series of tests that patients are exposed to higher doses of radiation. (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Expert talks about interventions for female heart patients
    Women with angina symptoms who are still functioning capably should be considered for an exercise ECG first, and follow-up SPECT MPI should be administered only to women with indeterminate or abnormal results or to those with persistent symptoms that indicate coronary artery disease, said Leslee J. Shaw, co-director of the clinical cardiovascular research institute at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, during a session at the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology conference. During the session, Shaw discussed results from the WOMEN trial and how these will affect comparative effectiveness research. (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Expert: Landscape shifting around nuclear cardiology field
    Those working in the nuclear cardiology field should familiarize themselves with several things, including changes in the work setting, the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Pilot Projects of Utilization Management and the Affordable Care Act, in order to get a better handle on how changes to the health care system and potential budget cuts will affect the field, Dr. William Van Decker, professor of Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, said at the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology conference. Van Decker said that because of the increasing number of Medicare patients and the rise in cost of services, there has been an increase in office-based cardiology practices transferring cases to hospitals. (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be."
--John Wooden,
American basketball player and coach

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