The increasing role of quantification in clinical nuclear cardiology: the Emory approach

J Nucl Cardiol. 2007 Jul;14(4):420-32. doi: 10.1016/j.nuclcard.2007.06.009.


Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging has attained widespread clinical acceptance as a standard of care for patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. A significant contribution to this success has been the use of computer techniques to provide objective quantitative assessment in interpreting these studies. We have implemented the Emory Cardiac Toolbox (ECTb) as a pipeline to distribute the software tools that we and others have researched, developed, and validated to be clinically useful so that diagnosticians everywhere can benefit from our work. Our experience has demonstrated that integration of all software tools in a common platform is the optimal approach to promote both accuracy and efficiency. Important attributes of the ECTb approach are (1) our extensive number of normal perfusion databases for SPECT and positron emission tomography (PET) studies, each created with at least 150 patients; (2) our use of Fourier analysis of regional thickening to ensure proper temporal resolution and to allow accurate measurement of left ventricular function and dyssynchrony; (3) our development of PET tools to quantify myocardial hibernation and viability; (4) our development of 3-dimensional displays and the use of these displays as a platform for image fusion of perfusion and computed tomography angiography; and (5) the use of expert systems for decision support. ECTb is an important tool for extracting quantitative parameters from all types of cardiac radionuclide distributions. ECTb should continue to play an important role in establishing cardiac SPECT and PET for flow, function, metabolism, and innervation clinical applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Cardiology / instrumentation
  • Cardiology / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Diagnostic Imaging / instrumentation
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Georgia
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Programming Languages
  • Radiography
  • Software
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / instrumentation
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*