Cardiac PET-CT

What is Cardiac PET-CT

A cardiac PET-CT scanner is a PET-CT scanner with additional hardware and software that enables imaging of the heart.

It is used to risk-stratify patients with suspected coronary artery disease. The main test used today is stress SPECT (stress ‘nuclear medicine’ study) but others include stress echo and coronary CTA. It is a newer test but has been available at many academic centers for over 10 yrs and now offered in hundreds of centers across the US.

The Benefits of Cardiac PET-CT

  • Endorsed by American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (the two largest organizations in the US for stress tests) as a first line test for suspected coronary artery disease (CAD).
  • Covered as first line test by Medicare and many third-party insurers.
  • Advantages compared to SPECT (main test used for CAD today):
    • PET-CT is less than a quarter and sometimes a tenth the radiation dose of a SPECT.
    • PET-CT is a 30 min test, whereas SPECT is a 4-5 hr test.
    • Negative predictive value (NPV) of 3D PET-CT with CFR is in the high 90s while NPV of SPECT is in mid 70s.
  • Tower Imaging is one of the few centers in Southern California performing 3D cardiac PET-CT (faster and lower radiation) with Coronary Flow Reserve (higher accuracy).

Insurance Coverage

Medicare covers Rubidium Cardiac PET-CT as first line for risk stratification of patients with possible coronary artery disease. Medicare also covers Rubidium cardiac PET-CT after an indeterminate SPECT scan for patients with possible CAD. Most 3rd party insurers also cover Rubidium cardiac PET-CT. Tower Imaging can help with pre-authorization for these patients. Please contact us for further details.

Cardiac PET-CT Exams Santa Monica – Tower Saint John’s Imaging
2202 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Telephone: 310.264.9000

 

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