New developments and future challenges of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging for pulmonary embolism.

Link to article at PubMed

New developments and future challenges of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging for pulmonary embolism.

Thromb Res. 2017 Jun 27;:

Authors: Le Roux PY, Robin P, Salaun PY

Although widely validated, current tests for pulmonary embolism (PE) diagnosis, i.e. computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) and V/Q planar scintigraphy, have some limitations. Drawbacks of CTPA include the radiation dose, some contra indications and a rising concern about a possible overdiagnosis/overtreatment of PE. On the other hand, V/Q planar scintigraphy has a high rate of non-diagnostic tests responsible for complex diagnostic algorithms. Since the PIOPED study, imaging equipment and radiopharmaceuticals have greatly evolved allowing the introduction of techniques that improve imaging of lung ventilation and perfusion. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and SPECT/CT techniques are already largely used in daily practice and have been described to have greater diagnostic performance and much fewer non-diagnostic tests as compared with planar scintigraphy. However, they have not yet been firmly validated in large scale prospective outcome studies. More recently, it has also been proposed to image pulmonary perfusion and ventilation using positron emission tomography (PET), which has an inherent technical superiority as compared to conventional scintigraphy and may provide new insight for pulmonary embolism. Regardless of modality, these new thoracic imaging modalities have to be integrated into diagnostic strategies. The other major challenge for venous thromboembolism diagnosis may be the potential additional value of molecular imaging allowing specific targeting of thrombi in order, for example, to differentiate venous thromboembolism from tumor or septic thrombus, or acute from residual disease. In this article, the new imaging procedures of lung ventilation perfusion imaging with SPECT, SPECT/CT and PET/CT are discussed. We also review the current status and future challenge of molecular imaging for the in vivo characterization of venous thromboembolism.

PMID: 28673474 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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