Toward the Future: Innovators Invite ASNC2020 Learners to Imagine the Possibilities

Learners from around the world logged on to the ASNC2020 preconference program "Technological Advances and Innovation in Nuclear Cardiology: A Look into the Future." Developed in collaboration with NHLBI and NIBIB, the half-day event featured scientists and innovators describing how today's trends are fueling the development of new protocols and advances with great potential to improve patient care.  

Speakers from Session 1 on novel SPECT and PET Technology; and Nuclear Imaging in the Interventional Suite

The symposium tackled pressing topics in four sessions. Sessions 1 and 2 shined a bright light on the future of nuclear cardiology and molecular imaging. In the first session, faculty offered insights into what imagers should expect to see in future PET scanners and SPECT systems as well as how nuclear cardiology might soon be "fused" into the interventional lab with exciting new clinical applications, such as delivery of therapeutics to the heart. 

In session 2, attendees saw how dynamic SPECT reconstruction is poised to minimize a number of current challenges; the potential of deep learning, such as to help reduce contrast doses without diminishing image quality; and the promise of advanced PET MP quantitation strategies, including for addressing cardiotoxity. 

From "Diagnostic Gaps and Related Biology in Contemporary CV Medicine"
by Mehran Sadeghi, MD

Mehran Sadeghi, MD, kicked off session 3 with a slide compiling gaps in cardiovascular imaging (see slide) that could be addressed by molecular imaging. He offered a vision for the future where molecular imaging will have a prominent place in schematics showing landmark events in CV medicine. Ensuing presentations and discussion focused on –
  • Emerging tracers and how inflammation, thrombosis, and fibrosis are possible "targets" for "interrogating cardiovascular disease"; and   
  • How to speed up the timeline for getting tracers to humans

From "Barriers and Potential Solutions for Clinical Translation of Novel Tracers,"
by Robert J. Gropler, MD, MASNC

Session 4's presenters picked up the conversational thread with presentations on how harnessing multimodel imaging with biology will accelerate understanding of inflammation and cardiometabolic diseases; funding and training opportunities through the NHLBI and NIBIB; and "the last frontier" – FDA and CMS considerations for making PET imaging available in the clinic. 

"ASNC is very proud to have partnered with the NIH to deliver this excellent program and highlight the extraordinary work of today's scientists and innovators," said ASNC President Sharmila Dorbala, MD, MPH, FASNC. "Today's presenters have shown us the bright future ahead for nuclear cardiology and molecular imaging."