Myocardial metabolism and perfusion are the major areas of interest in the nuclear cardiology laboratories. Fatty acid tracers are actively being evaluated to determine if they may function in a similar fashion to the current clinical standard fluorodeoxyglucose for imaging of the heart. These studies are both preclinical and clinical and involve animal models as well as studies in humans. A new focus for the laboratory is evaluating metabolism with these tracer agents in patients receiving beta-blockade for congestive heart failure.
Another major area of investigation uses positron emission tomography (PET) perfusion tracers. Both preclinical and clinical evaluations of coordination complexes using copper-62 are being actively pursued.
A third area of investigation involves analysis of intracellular oxygen levels. Currently in preclinical trials, this agent may allow visualization of ischemic or hypoxic myocardium.
Nuclear Imaging and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Faculty