SNMMI: Patel discusses INOCA, new cardiac PET tracers

TORONTO -- spoke with cardiac PET imaging expert Krishna Patel, MD, from Mount Sinai in New York City, at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging annual meeting. She discussed what’s termed ischemia with non-obstructive coronary arteries (INOCA) and how new PET radiotracers may be a game changer in treating the condition.

INOCA is increasingly being recognized as a substantial contributor to events such as myocardial infarction and heart failure, with women more likely to have the finding, Patel noted.

“It has a strong preponderance to affect women. Women are 2.5 to three times more likely to suffer from INOCA and coronary artery microvascular disfunction than men. We don’t quite know why,” she said.

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However, new PET radiotracers are in the wings that could help diagnose more INOCA patients, chief among them a tracer currently under review for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called F-18 flurpiridaz, Patel noted.

In addition, Patel highlighted promising research in other areas, specifically new efforts in PET to identify atherosclerosis on a molecular level before it advances to critical stages and the development of AI algorithms to quantify disease pathology on images in ways that may lift the burden of performing complicated calculations among physicians.

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