Purpose: The purpose of the study is to determine the impact of 13N-ammonia positron emission tomography (PET) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) on clinical decision making and its cost-effectiveness.
Materials and methods: One hundred consecutive patients (28 women, 72 men; mean age 60.9 +/- 12.0 years; range 24-85 years) underwent 13N-ammonia PET scanning (and computed tomography, used only for attenuation correction) to assess myocardial perfusion in patients with known (n = 79) or suspected (n = 8) coronary artery disease (CAD), or for suspected small-vessel disease (SVD; n = 13). Before PET, the referring physician was asked to determine patient treatment if PET would not be available. Four weeks later, PET patient management was reassessed for each patient individually.
Results: Before PET management strategies would have been: diagnostic angiography (62 of 100 patients), diagnostic angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; 6 of 100), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG; 3 of 100), transplantation (1 of 100), or conservative medical treatment (28 of 100). After PET scanning, treatment strategies were altered in 78 patients leading to: diagnostic angiography (0 of 100), PCI (20 of 100), CABG (3 of 100), transplantation (1 of 100), or conservative medical treatment (76 of 100). Patient management followed the recommendations of PET findings in 97% of the cases. Cost-effectiveness analysis revealed lower costs of <euro>206/patient as a result of PET scanning.
Conclusion: In a population with a high prevalence of known CAD, PET is cost-effective and has an important impact on patient management.