A team led by UTHealth Houston's K. Lance Gould, MD, (center) used PET imaging technology (shown above) to map coronary blood flow and its outcomes among heart disease patients. (Photo by UTHealth Houston)

A team led by UTHealth Houston's K. Lance Gould, MD, (center) used PET imaging technology (shown above) to map coronary blood flow and its outcomes among heart disease patients. (Photo by UTHealth Houston) 

December 1, 2022 —  A new method for determining whether patients with heart disease need coronary stents or bypass surgery is more effective than the angiogram, which is currently used, according to research from UTHealth Houston Heart & Vascular. 

A team led by K. Lance Gould, MD, professor and the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished University Chair in Heart Disease with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, used positron emission tomography (PET) imaging technology to map coronary blood flow and its outcomes – namely, subendocardial ischemia – among patients with heart disease. The study was published in JACC Journals

Most forms of heart disease cause myocardial damage. Myocardial ischemia occurs when blood flow to the heart is reduced, preventing the heart muscle from receiving enough oxygen. When myocardial ischemia affects the deep, or subendocardial, layer of the left ventricular muscle, it is known as subendocardial ischemia. 

Subendocardial ischemia is commonly diagnosed in patients with cardiovascular disease, but it is not quantified by current imaging tools. Gould’s team developed the PET technology, software, and clinical validation for defining the size and severity of this early stage of coronary artery disease. 

“The cumulative data reveals that all randomized trials of coronary stents and bypass surgery have failed to improve survival after revascularization due to profoundly flawed patient selection based on the angiogram,” said Gould, who was first author on the study. “Thus, the coronary angiogram is not the gold standard for determining stents or bypass surgery, but rather, quantitative myocardial perfusion by PET is the gold standard.” 

Significantly, the paper confirmed the team’s previous research by proving the PET threshold of severity at which stents and bypass surgery improve survival compared to medical treatment alone. The angiogram – an X-ray test that helps doctors evaluate blockages in the arterial system – shows how to do stents or bypass surgery, Gould said, but not whether those procedures should be done at all.   

Gould, who began working at UTHealth Houston in 1979 as a professor and director of the division of cardiology, stepped aside from administrative duties in 1987 to focus clinically and scientifically on PET imaging and quantitative coronary arteriography for identifying segmental and diffuse coronary artery disease, measuring its severity and reversing it by vigorous risk factor modification. 

“Several equally paradigm-changing papers are underway for the coming year,” Gould said. “For example, our preliminary data show that virtual revascularization on cardiac PET images predicts survival outcomes before actually doing stents or bypass surgery, as a guide to making decisions for or against those procedures.” 

Nils P. Johnson, MD, MS, professor and Weatherhead Distinguished Chair of Heart Disease with McGovern Medical School, was the study’s senior author. Other co-authors from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at McGovern Medical School included Tung Nguyen, BS; Richard Kirkeeide, PhD; Amanda E. Roby, CNMT, RT(N); Linh Bui, MD; Danai Kitkungvan, MD; Monica B. Patel, MD; Mohammad Madjid, MD; and Mary Haynie, RN, MBA. Co-authors with UTHealth Houston School of Public Health included Dejian Lai, PhD, and Ruosha Li, PhD. Jagat Narula, MD, PhD, with Mount Sinai Heart at Mount Sinai Morningside and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, also contributed to the study. 

For more information: https://www.uth.edu/

Find more RSNA22 coverage here  

Related Content

News | Artificial Intelligence

June 11, 2024 — A new study led by researchers at Emory AI.Health, published in the Journal of Computers in Medicine and ...

Time June 11, 2024
News | Breast Imaging

June 7, 2024 — Scholars and studies funded by Susan G. Komen(R), the world’s leading breast cancer organization ...

Time June 07, 2024
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers

June 7, 2024 — Shine Technologies, LLC, a pioneer in next-generation fusion-based technology, today announced a new ...

Time June 07, 2024
News | Oncology Information Management Systems (OIMS)

May 30, 2024 — RaySearch Laboratories AB announced the release of the latest version of RayCare, the next generation ...

Time May 30, 2024
News | Prostate Cancer

May 13, 2024 — Avenda Health, an AI healthcare company creating the future of personalized prostate cancer care, unveils ...

Time May 13, 2024
News | Radiology Imaging

May 13, 2024 — National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), and the Next ...

Time May 13, 2024
News | Contrast Media

May 8, 2024 — Swedish biotech company Ascelia Pharma AB has announced that its liver imaging drug candidate, Orviglance ...

Time May 08, 2024
News | Pediatric Imaging

May 2, 2024 — Head and abdominal trauma is a leading cause of death for children. About 1%–2% of children who come to ...

Time May 02, 2024
News | Proton Therapy

April 29, 2024 — Koneksa, a healthcare technology company pioneering evidence-based digital biomarkers, announced today ...

Time April 29, 2024
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

April 17, 2024 — Hyperfine, Inc., a groundbreaking health technology company that has redefined brain imaging with the ...

Time April 17, 2024
Subscribe Now