Nuclear Cardiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a joint service between Cardiovascular Medicine and Nuclear Medicine. Nuclear Cardiology offers a variety of modes of clinical and research investigations using nuclear medicine techniques. The facilities are housed in three physical locations.
The central Nuclear Medicine area is in University Hospital and encompasses standard gamma camera imaging, and exercise treadmills operated by the Cardiovascular Medicine Division. For gamma cameras, General Electric single and multihead detector systems are utilized, as well as a Picker Irix three-headed camera. There is a central reading area that is used for clinical and academic purposes. This area also has a radiopharmacy, wet lab, and administrative offices. A variety of exercise and pharmacologic stress perfusion studies are offered. The radionuclide for the imaging may vary, depending upon specifics of the protocol.
A variety of clinical situations are studied in the laboratory, including assessment of myocardial perfusion with chest pain, and risk stratification after myocardial infarction and prior to noncardiac surgery. Most of these studies are performed with gated imaging, which allows assessment of regional function as well as global ejection fraction, and has improved the specificity of the diagnosis of fixed defects, separating attenuation artifacts from true infarcts. Images are reviewed on-line through the Department of Radiology digital image system accessed via the worldwide web.
Atrium Nuclear Cardiology
In the Atrium practice, Nuclear Cardiology is directed by Dr. Charles Stone and utilizes a dedicated small field of view 2-headed gamma camera for gated perfusion scintigraphy and radionuclide angiography. The camera has superior resolution and speed, allowing for high-quality perfusion and angiographic studies including first pass studies. Every aspect of Nuclear Cardiology is performed with this dedicated camera. Research interests center around perfecting acquisition protocols, particularly for arrhythmias and combined analysis of right ventricular and left ventricular function.
William S. Middleton Memorial Hospital
The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital has a separate facility for Nuclear Cardiology. The VA utilizes a two-headed ADAC camera for perfusion SPECT studies and planar radionuclide angiocardiograms.
PET Imaging Center
The University of Wisconsin PET Imaging Center uses two whole body GE PETscanners, located on the clinical and research campus for clinical andResearch imaging. A whole-body dedicated GE Advance PET Scanner iscontiguous with a linear accelerator, allowing imaging with short-livedtracers. A newer combined GE PET/CT scanner is located in the hospitalwhich utilizes CT imaging for attenuation correction, greatly diminishingthe time for scanning and improving attenuation corrected image quality.Tracers for study in the PET scanners are obtained regionally or locally,depending upon the type of tracer. A variety of clinical and researchstudies are performed with dedicated PET technologists staffing bothscanners.
Basic and clinical research studies are being performed through Nuclear Cardiology. Nuclear Cardiology is performing a single-center study of adenosine perfusion scintigraphy and the impact of caffeine upon those studies. Extensive PET research studies are ongoing concerning fatty acid metabolism and myocardial perfusion. A major focus of this work has been measuring fatty acid metabolism in congestive heart failure and changes in fatty acid metabolism with drug therapy. Recently, PET studies involving cardiac perfusion quantification have begun with a variety of tracers. Basic studies concerning the validation of fatty acid tracers are performed in open-chest animal preparations. The VA Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory also performs a variety of clinical research, including multicenter congestive heart failure trials and a single-center study on the influence of emotional stress upon coronary artery disease.
The educational program consists of formal review of studies and incorporation of clinical data, formal didactic lectures, informal discussion by nuclear cardiology and nuclear medicine staff, formal correlation conferences of perfusion studies and catheterization results, teaching files and reading lists.
Nuclear Cardiology Faculty