News | PET-CT | July 25, 2017

New PET-CT Scan Improves Detection in Rare Cardiac Condition

Full-body scan of cardiac sarcoidosis patients could reveal other areas affected by the disease

New PET-CT Scan Improves Detection in Rare Cardiac Condition

July 25, 2017 — Using a new nuclear imaging technique that can diagnose cardiac sarcoidosis much more accurately than traditional tests, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have found the disease affects other organs in 40 percent of known patients with cardiac sarcoidosis. The findings are published in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology.

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that often attacks multiple organs, particularly the lungs, heart and lymph nodes, and disproportionately affects African-Americans. Sarcoidosis can be very difficult to diagnose using available tests and available imaging techniques.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans and computed tomography (CT) scans, as well as scans that combine information from each, have been used in the diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis, but the results are often unclear and hard to interpret, and lead to many false negatives.

A new combined PET-CT scan technique developed at UIC incorporates a 72-hour high-fat, low-sugar diet before images are taken. The new scan provides much clearer images of sarcoidosis and lets physicians better detect cardiac sarcoidosis. In a previous UIC study, researchers were able to diagnose cardiac sarcoidosis much more accurately and could diagnose cases that would not have been picked up using the usual 24-hour high-fat, low-sugar protocol normally prescribed before the combined PET-CT scans.

In the current study, the researchers used the new protocol to investigate the relationship between the presence of cardiac sarcoidosis and sarcoidosis in other parts of the body.

"We wanted to know if patients being evaluated for cardiac sarcoidosis would benefit from more thorough imaging of the body beyond the usual torso scan, using this new technique," said Nadera Sweiss, M.D., professor of rheumatology in the UIC College of Medicine and an author on the paper.

The researchers performed full-body (nose to knees) PET-CT scans of 188 patients who followed the 72-hour pre-test diet between Dec. 2014 and Dec. 2015 at the University of Illinois hospital, UI Health. Of the 20 scans that were positive for cardiac sarcoidosis, eight, or 40 percent, revealed sarcoidosis in other parts of the body.

"This study indicates that more extensive, full-body scans of patients with known cardiac sarcoidosis can uncover secondary sites of the disease in a significant number of patients," said Sweiss, who is also director of UI Health's Bernie Mac Sarcoidosis Translational Advanced Research (STAR) Center. "Knowing there is disease in organs other than the heart changes the way we approach treatment — it allows us to more accurately stage the disease and treat it accordingly."

Sweiss cautioned that the technique for detecting sarcoidosis outside and within the heart needs to be further tested, and its ultimate contribution to outcomes in patients with cardiac sarcoidosis will need to be evaluated.

For more information: www.onlinejnc.com

Related Content

Older Biologic Age Linked to Elevated Breast Cancer Risk
News | Women's Health | March 19, 2019
Biologic age, a DNA-based estimate of a person’s age, is associated with future development of breast cancer, according...
HeartFlow Analysis Successfully Stratifies Heart Disease Patients at One Year
News | CT Angiography (CTA) | March 19, 2019
Late-breaking results confirm the HeartFlow FFRct (fractional flow reserve computed tomography) Analysis enables...
PET Scans Show Biomarkers Could Spare Some Breast Cancer Patients from Chemotherapy
News | PET Imaging | March 18, 2019
A new study positron emission tomography (PET) scans has identified a biomarker that may accurately predict which...
SyncVision iFR Co-registration from Philips Healthcare maps iFR pressure readings onto angiogram.

SyncVision iFR Co-registration from Philips Healthcare maps iFR pressure readings onto angiogram. Results from an international study presented at #ACC19 show that pressure readings in coronary arteries may identify locations of stenoses remaining after cardiac cath interventions.

Feature | Cardiac Imaging | March 18, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr
As many as one in four patients who undergo cath lab interventions can benefit from a technology that identifies the
Non-Contrast MRI Effective in Monitoring MS Patients
News | Neuro Imaging | March 18, 2019
Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without contrast agent is just as effective as the contrast-enhanced approach...
Jennifer N. A. Silva, M.D., a pediatric cardiologist at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Mo., describes “mixed reality” at ACC19 Future Hub.

Jennifer N. A. Silva, M.D., a pediatric cardiologist at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Mo., describes “mixed reality” at ACC19 Future Hub.

Feature | Cardiac Imaging | March 17, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr
Virtual reality (VR) and its less immersive kin, augmented reality (AR), are gaining traction in some medical applica
WVU cardiology chief Partho Sengupta, M.D., describes at ACC 2019 how artificial intelligence already helps cardiologists in echocardiography.

WVU cardiology chief Partho Sengupta, M.D., describes at ACC 2019 how artificial intelligence already helps cardiologists in echocardiography. Photo by Greg Freiherr

Feature | Cardiac Imaging | March 16, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr
Machine learning is already having an enormous impact on cardiology, automatically calculating measurements in echoca
Bay Labs Announces New Data on EchoGPS, AutoEF AI Software at ACC.19
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | March 15, 2019
Artificial intelligence (AI) company Bay Labs announced the presentation of two studies assessing performance of the...
Podcast | Cardiac Imaging | March 15, 2019
Debate About Coronary Testing Highlights ACC Session
Researchers Create New Method for Developing Cancer Imaging Isotopes

Prototype fluidic system for zirconium-89 purification. Image taken through a hot cell window at the Department of Radiology, University of Washington. Image courtesy of Matthew O’Hara, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | March 14, 2019
A team of researchers at the University of Washington announced they developed a new automated system for producing...