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Assessment of Vascular Reactivity with Positron Emission Tomography

Journal of Clinical and Basic Cardiology 2001; 4 (2): 135-138

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Keywords: FlussKoronare HerzkrankheitPositronenemissionstomographiecoronary artery diseaseflowPET

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is the most advanced scintigraphic imaging technique developed for in-vivo assessment of cardiac (patho)physiology and biochemistry. The currently available PET technology allows the measurement of regional tracer activity with high spatial and temporal resolution. During recent years several radiopharmaceuticals have been developed to study myocardial perfusion enabling accurate diagnosis and risk stratification of coronary artery disease (CAD). The quantitative assessment of myocardial blood flow at rest and under stress conditions and the calculation of (regional) coronary flow reserve by N-13 ammonia, Rb-82 or O-15 water PET is the most sensitive means to detect any abnormal vasoreactivity which has already been found at very early stages of the atherosclerotic process before any angiographic or clinical evidence of CAD. Importantly, available flow tracers provide also quantitative information on the haemodynamic effects of any local, invasive (angioplasty) or systemic (risk factor modification) intervention supporting the use of PET methodology for drug research and evaluation in clinical cardiology.
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