Nuclear medicine procedures in cardiovascular diseases: An evidence based approach

W. Acampa, M. Petretta, A. Cuocolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of evidence-based medicine is to integrate individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. The aim of this article is to introduce the concept of evidence based medicine and to review the evidence for applying cardiovascular nuclear medicine in various clinical settings. A systematic review is defined as a scientific technique to identify and summarize evidence on effectiveness of interventions and to allow the consistency of research. Different clinical applications of nuclear medicine procedures in cardiology have been reviewed. Radionuclide imaging techniques appear to be appropriate in risk assessment, prognosis and evaluation of therapy in patients after acute myocardial infarction. In patients with unstable angina, radionuclide testing is indicated in the identification of ischemia within the distribution of the "culprit" lesion or in remote areas. Exercise and pharmacological cardiac perfusion imaging are appropriate and useful in the diagnosis and prognosis of chronic coronary artery disease. Nuclear medicine procedures are also useful in the assessment of myocardial viability in patients with left ventricular dysfunction, in the assessment of interventions for the evaluation of patients after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty and coronary artery bypass grafting. There has been rapid evolution in radionuclide imaging technologies and both the number and the complexity of choices for the clinician have increased. Further progress in technology and clinical applications of nuclear cardiology may be expected. The development of new instrumentation and of new agents will allow consistent progress and improve the state-of-art of nuclear cardiology. Thus, guidelines for the use of cardiac radionuclide imaging have been difficult to develop and apply. An evidence-based approach may be useful for the best use of nuclear medicine procedures in cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalQuarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


  • Cardiovascular diseases, diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular diseases, radionuclide imaging
  • Evidence-based medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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