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Circulation Journal
Vol. 75 (2011) No. 3 p. 713-723



Controversies in Cardiovascular Medicine

Nuclear cardiology has played an important role in both diagnosis and risk assessments of coronary artery disease since early 1970. Among the non-invasive diagnostic tests, the great advantage of nuclear imaging is that this technique can obtain physiological information, such as myocardial perfusion, which is difficult to obtain by other techniques. When patients have inducible myocardial ischemia and sufficient viable myocardium, coronary revascularization treatment should be performed. Both stress myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) and viability imaging provide important information. Another important aspect of stress perfusion imaging is that normal stress perfusion is associated with low risk for future cardiac events. Therefore, stress MPI plays an important role in the selection of an invasive therapeutic regime and also in avoiding unnecessary invasive procedures. As is the case for other imaging techniques, there have been many technical and instrumental developments in recent years in nuclear cardiology imaging, including new single-photon-emission computed tomography tracers, new pharmacological stress agents, a new generation of γ camera, and positron emission tomography. This review will address the advantages of nuclear cardiology in the clinical setting and recent developments in nuclear cardiology. (Circ J 2011; 75: 713-723)


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