Coronary artery disease is the greatest cause of mortality in the United States, and the increasing global incidence is expected to make it the number-one killer worldwide by 2020. Recently the noninvasive detection of coronary artery disease has advanced tremendously in many fields, including nuclear cardiology (both single photon emission tomography and positron emission tomography), computed tomography angiography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Much research is also ongoing in the area of plaque characterization and inflammatory markers. In this book we provide a basic idea about these modalities. Because of time constraints facing clinicians, we tried to explain basic physics concepts in the simplest and clearest manner using examples and hand-drawn figures.
In the CD portion of this book, we provide numerous real-life cases and clinical scenarios to enhance the understanding of basic concepts and interpretation of cardiac single photon emission tomography and computed tomography angiography.
Our work is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis of these imaging modalities; rather, it provides a unique approach to the basic concepts and must-know facts of these modalities. This is especially useful as a rapid entry-level tool for those who are interested in risk stratification of coronary artery disease. The reader can use the information provided as a basis to achieve understanding of basic concepts that can then be further developed by more sub-specialized exposure to the field. Also, we include practical tips regarding the establishment of an office-based nuclear cardiology practice.
Finally, we believe that the information and concepts contained in this book can be helpful in preparation for the certifying exam of the Board of Nuclear Cardiology.