ASNC Announces New PET Position Statement and New PET Clinical Guidelines

More than 25 experts from around the world and two leading professional organizations assess the value and quality of myocardial perfusion PET imaging.

BETHESDA, MD (August 18, 2016) -- Two documents developed jointly by the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) and the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) high-lighting myocardial perfusion positron emission tomography (PET)  were e-published today in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology.  Myocardial perfusion PET imaging is increasingly used because of its high diagnostic accuracy, low radiation exposure, short image acquisition time, strong prognostic power, and quantification of myocardial blood flow.  The Position Statement on the Clinical Indications for Myocardial Perfusion PET and the Updated PET Guidelines provide comprehensive guidance on appropriate indications and procedure standards for myocardial perfusion PET. 
“Myocardial perfusion PET is a robust nuclear cardiology test that supports the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' initiatives to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare while controlling costs. Myocardial perfusion PET, because of its unique properties, is the right test, at the right time for certain patient populations,” noted Brian Abbott, MD, ASNC President.

The Position Statement upgrades PET to a Preferred test for patients who meet criteria for stress imaging but are unable to complete a diagnostic-level of exercise.  The Statement also identifies five distinct clinical situations where cardiac PET is recommended:
  • poor quality, equivocal, or inconclusive prior stress-imaging study
  • patients with certain body characteristics that commonly affect image quality
  • higher-risk patients
  • younger patients to minimize accumulated life-time radiation exposure
  • when myocardial blood flow quantification is identified by clinicians to be a needed adjunct to the image findings     
"The extensive evidence base supporting myocardial perfusion PET for patients requiring pharmacologic stress imaging prompted development of this joint societal Position Statement" says Timothy Bateman MD, lead author of the statement and
Professor of Medicine at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. "Importantly, the Position Statement included substantive input from more than 25 experts in SPECT and PET from around the world, before undergoing rigorous review by the two professional organizations most knowledgeable on this subject. This assessment directly supports value-based quality health care".
 “For diagnosing coronary artery disease, myocardial perfusion PET imaging out performs other tests because of its high diagnostic accuracy, low radiation exposure, short image acquisition time and its ability to accommodate ill or high-risk patients and those with large body habitus,” says Vasken Dilsizian, MD, lead author of the Guideline and Professor of Radiology and Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. 

The PET Position Statement provides an expert consensus on the clinical indications for myocardial perfusion PET imaging. The updated Guideline provides the most up-to-date information to support physicians and technologists in appropriate patient selection and procedure performance standards. 

Both documents will appear in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology and can be downloaded now from the ASNC Clinical Guidelines webpage.