Properties of an ideal PET perfusion tracer: new PET tracer cases and data

J Nucl Cardiol. 2012 Feb:19 Suppl 1:S30-7. doi: 10.1007/s12350-011-9491-8.


An ideal positron emission tomography (PET) tracer should be highly extractable by the myocardium and able to provide high-resolution images, should enable quantification of absolute myocardial blood flow (MBF), should be compatible with both pharmacologically induced and exercise-induced stress imaging, and should not require an on-site cyclotron. The PET radionuclides nitrogen-13 ammonia and oxygen-15 water require an on-site cyclotron. Rubidium-82 may be available locally due to the generator source, but greater utilization is limited because of its relatively low myocardial extraction fraction, long positron range, and generator cost. Flurpiridaz F 18, a novel PET tracer in development, has a high-extraction fraction, short positron range, and relatively long half-life (as compared to currently available tracers), and may be produced at regional cyclotrons. Results of early clinical trials suggest that both pharmacologically and exercise-induced stress PET imaging protocols can be completed more rapidly and with lower patient radiation exposure than with single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) tracers. As compared to SPECT images in the same patients, flurpiridaz F 18 PET images showed better defect contrast. Flurpiridaz F 18 is a potentially promising tracer for assessment of myocardial perfusion, measurement of absolute MBF, calculation of coronary flow reserves, and assessment of cardiac function at the peak of the stress response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Myocardial Perfusion Imaging / methods*
  • Radioisotopes*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*


  • Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals