PET and the Heart
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary Heart Disease, the most common form of heart disease in this country and the primary cause of heart attacks, is the single largest killer of American men and women. Coronary Heart Disease occurs when the arteries carrying blood to the heart are blocked. Every 30 seconds, an American suffers a heart attack because of such a blockage, and 40 percent die within a year. More than 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease and many more, an estimated 25% of the middle-aged population, are unaware of their illness until they succumb to an attack. In the U.S., coronary heart disease accounts for one-third of all deaths each year.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) diagnoses heart disease non-invasively with 96-98% accuracy in individuals with or without symptoms of heart disease, permitting treatment even before symptoms appear. Furthermore, at our center, PET can help streamline efficient treatment of coronary heart disease, using quantitative coronary flow software to determine when invasive procedures such as stents or bypass surgery are absolutely necessary.