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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2016 Jan 20

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Nuclear cardiac imaging for the diagnosis and management of heart failure: what can be learned from recent guidelines?

Delphine M. VERVLOET 1, Johan DE SUTTER 2

1 Heart Centre, AZ Maria Middelares Hospital, Ghent, Belgium; 2 Heart Centre, AZ Maria Middelares Hospital and University, Ghent, Belgium


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The aim of this review is to provide the clinical cardiologist and nuclear medicine specialist a brief overview of the currently accepted clinical use of cardiac nuclear imaging for the diagnosis and management of patients with heart failure based on recent (2012-2015) European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines. We used the most recent ESC guidelines on heart failure, management of stable coronary artery disease, cardiac pacing, myocardial revascularisation, non-cardiac surgery and ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death. Nowadays cardiac nuclear imaging is useful in almost every step in heart failure from diagnostics to treatment. In first diagnosis of heart failure radionuclide imaging can provide information on ventricular function and volumes and nuclear imaging techniques provide accurate and reproducible left ventricular function assessment. In work out of the aetiology of the heart failure CMR, SPECT and PET imaging can demonstrate presence of inducible ischemia and myocardial viability. For prognostic information MIBG might be promising in the future. In treatment planning cardiac nuclear imaging is important to evaluate new angina and to assess accurate left ventricular ejection fraction before cardiac resynchronization therapy. Imaging stress testing is useful in the preoperative evaluation for non-cardiac surgery of heart failure patients. There is until now no recommended place for cardiac nuclear imaging in the follow-up of heart failure patients or prior to the initiation of cardiac rehabilitation.

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