New Strategies Improve Myocardial Perfusion Imaging

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Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) is seeing quality upgrades, as introduced in a PhD study at the University of Eastern Finland.

For this study, Tuija Kangasmaa developed methods to cut the scan’s imaging time by 50 percent and correct errors caused by patient movement. These methods are already being used in dozens of hospitals in Finland and throughout the world.  

MPI measures myocardial blood flow and is a diagnostic tool for coronary artery disease, the number one cause of death across the globe. In this two-step procedure, radioactive substance is first injected into the patient. Then a gamma camera is used to take pictures of the heart muscles that have absorbed the radioactive substance.

For shortening MPI imaging time, Kangasmaa discovered that using collimator response compensation works best. This allows imaging time to be reduced by half while maintaining the image quality of a standard MPI scan. Ultimately, it makes the procedure more tolerable for patients and enables hospitals to accommodate more patients each day.

A method for reducing errors relating to collimator response compensation was established as well.

The study also addressed the errors that happen when patients can’t help but move during the scan. Two correction methods were tested and both proved to be effective in generating error-free MPI images, even with patient movement.

Kangasmaa’s findings were initially published in Annals of Nuclear Medicine, International Journal of Molecular Imaging and Nuclear Medicine Communications.

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