Use of 18F-FDG PET/CT helps differentiate an active infection surrounding a cardiovascular implantable electronic device from ordinary postoperative inflammation, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The findings indicate that 18F-FDG PET/CT can help guide decisions on whether to remove devices or use antibiotic treatment, but an accompanying editorial called for more research before firm recommendations are developed.
A Scottish study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that PET/CT using 18F-sodium fluoride can help image active and ongoing calcification in patients' coronary arteries, which can indicate a higher risk for a heart attack. The researchers observed higher 18F-NaF activity in coronary artery plaques of patients with other cardiovascular disease risk factors. "If we can identify patients at high risk of a heart attack earlier, we
can then use intensive drug treatments and perhaps procedures such as
stents to reduce the chances of them having a heart attack," said lead author Dr. Marc Dweck of Edinburgh University.
Physicians at the Cleveland Clinic have for the first time used a stent graft as part of the treatment for leiomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer affecting the heart. Patient Jovetta Means had been treated with radiation to shrink the tumor, but the therapy damaged her aorta. Doctors used the stent graft to support the tissue.
After five heart attacks, former Vice President Dick Cheney has experienced almost every treatment developed over the years to help treat his atherosclerosis. At 71, Cheney has had quadruple bypass surgery, angioplasty and stent placement, and he is now recovering from a heart transplant.
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Medicare will remain solvent for the next 12 years, according to the trustees' annual report, but experts say their prediction is based on some unlikely scenarios, including a scheduled reduction in physician reimbursements. The report said the long-term outlook suggests the program in its current form is unsustainable.
If the health care law is struck down, insurers and employers will continue reforming the nation's health care system, experts say. Employers will continue shifting costs to employees and charging more for those with unhealthy lifestyles; some insurers are likely to retain popular provisions, such as allowing adult children to remain on their parents' plans; and some consulting firms are already setting up privately run insurance exchanges.
On Monday, May 14, 2012, at 4 p.m. EDT, ASNC is hosting a free webinar regarding Quality Control Considerations for Cardiac PET, taught by Howard C. Lewin, MD, FASNC and April Mann, CNMT, RT(N), NCT, FASNC. Free registration is available for the live webinar, which has been approved for a maximum of 1.0 ACE credits for technologists. This activity is supported by educational grants from Bracco Diagnostics, Inc. and DraxImage, Inc.
If you plan to join ASNC May 4–6, 2012, in Chicago for Nuclear Cardiology for the Technologist, make sure to register before advance registration closes on April 30, 2012. This three-day course covering the fundamental aspects of nuclear cardiology and the latest advances in the field is designed specifically for technologists. This course will address quality control principles, radiation reduction strategies, stress lab emergencies, and more. Visit www.asnc.org/nctechnologist for registration materials and program information.