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Volume 2012, Article ID 948653, 16 pages
Review Article

Quantitative Cardiac Positron Emission Tomography: The Time Is Coming!

Department of Clinical Physiopathology, Nuclear Medicine Unit, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134 Florence, Italy

Received 5 July 2012; Accepted 14 August 2012

Academic Editors: J. Alpert, C. N. Aroney, R. Fulton, and J. van den Hoff

Copyright © 2012 Roberto Sciagrà. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the last 20 years, the use of positron emission tomography (PET) has grown dramatically because of its oncological applications, and PET facilities are now easily accessible. At the same time, various groups have explored the specific advantages of PET in heart disease and demonstrated the major diagnostic and prognostic role of quantitation in cardiac PET. Nowadays, different approaches for the measurement of myocardial blood flow (MBF) have been developed and implemented in user-friendly programs. There is large evidence that MBF at rest and under stress together with the calculation of coronary flow reserve are able to improve the detection and prognostication of coronary artery disease. Moreover, quantitative PET makes possible to assess the presence of microvascular dysfunction, which is involved in various cardiac diseases, including the early stages of coronary atherosclerosis, hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy, and hypertensive heart disease. Therefore, it is probably time to consider the routine use of quantitative cardiac PET and to work for defining its place in the clinical scenario of modern cardiology.