New Study: PET/CT Provides Higher Sensitivity at a Lower Radiation Dose than SPECT in Cardiac Cases

POSTED ON TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2015 AT 1:28 PM  by Dr. Marc Liebeskind

Newly released research indicates that PET/CT is the superior diagnostic choice over SPECT for evaluating myocardial ischemia. At a recent meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Utah researchers presented their findings that PET/CT provided higher sensitivity at a lower radiation dose. When it came to determining if the patients studied were free of cardiac disease, PET/CT proved to be far more accurate than SPECT.

Myocardial ischemia is a heart condition that occurs when the body's oxygen supply is reduced due to a decrease in the blood flowing to the heart. This decrease in blood flow is caused by a partial or complete blockage of the coronary arteries.

According to, "myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) with SPECT has long been an important tool in the assessment of heart conditions, but it has disadvantages such as a lack of specificity and relatively high radiation dose. The rise of PET/CT has created the prospect that more accurate MPI scans could be performed at a lower dose."

Park Avenue Radiologists, PC has installed the latest generation multidetector PET/CT System with the highest resolution of PET configuration, to allow for imaging virtually all organ systems, including cardiac PET/CT.

The study was completed by a group of researchers led by Dr. Kent Mereditch at the Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center and consisted of 197 patients in the SPECT group and 200 patients in the PET/CT group. Researchers compared MPI scans completed with a SPECT camera in 2012 to those that underwent a PET/CT scan in 2013.

In the study, researchers found that of the patients that underwent a PET/CT the sensitivity to diagnosing myocardial ischemia was 100% with a positive predictive value of 98.3% and no false positives. For the SPECT, researchers discovered the specificity to be only 30.3% while PET/CT produced 88% specificity. The radiation exposure to patients that underwent a PET/CT procedure was far less than the dose of radiation patients received from the SPECT examination. PET/CT provided a radiation dose of around 2 mSv while SPECT produced an average radiation dose of around 30 mSv.

To contact our team of experts for more information on cardiac PET/CT in NYC, call 212-888-1000 or email

For more information of the study's findings, visit the original article published on March 17, 2015.


Additional Links:


CT Calcium Scan

Cardiac MRI NYC

Blog Home Page

Social Media Links

Twitter Feed