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DU PONT MERCK'S 'CARDIOLITE' INDICATED FOR USE IN EVALUATING ISCHEMIA

DU PONT MERCK'S 'CARDIOLITE' INDICATED FOR USE IN EVALUATING ISCHEMIA
 NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Du Pont Merck Pharmaceutical Company reported today that "Cardiolite" (Technetium Tc99m sestamibi), an advanced cardiac imaging agent, is now indicated for use in identifying patients at high risk for heart attack. Under the new indication, doctors can pinpoint areas of the heart with ischemia (inadequate cardiac blood supply) and coronary artery disease (CAD) by combining exercise stress testing and imaging with "Cardiolite."
 "Cardiolite" gives physicians greater flexibility in assessing risk and evaluating therapeutic choices through detailed diagnostic information and superior image clarity. Additionally, "Cardiolite" allows for more efficient use of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) cameras, used by imaging specialists to take three- dimensional "pictures" of the heart.
 "Our ability to diagnose cardiac disease with 'Cardiolite' has been enhanced with the new indication," said George Beller, M.D., director, division of cardiology at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center. "Most importantly, we anticipate improved quality of our SPECT imaging studies."
 The development of "Cardiolite" has led to enhanced camera techniques for diagnosing ischemia, such as gated SPECT imaging. This technique allows physicians to freeze the motion of the heart in separate images. Gated SPECT enhances image clarity -- eliminating blurring due to heart motion -- and provides more information about the heart's pumping ability than thallium.
 "Cardiolite" offers other distinct advantages over thallium, the widely used cardiac imaging radioisotope introduced by Du Pont in the late 1970s. With "Cardiolite," improved camera efficiency is possible because of the ability to uncouple the time of injection from the time of imaging. Patients injected with thallium must be imaged within minutes, before the agent begins to wash out of the heart. Patients injected with "Cardiolite" can be imaged up to four hours later, allowing studies to be scheduled without idle gaps to better utilize SPECT equipment.
 "Imaging quality and diagnostic confidence are the key to high- quality cardiac imaging," said E. Gordon De Puey, M.D., director of nuclear medicine at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York. "Ultimately, patients benefit from advances in cardiac imaging, and we expect 'Cardiolite' to have a direct impact on cardiac care."
 "Cardiolite" was introduced in early 1991 as a myocardial perfusion agent, indicated for use in distinguishing normal from abnormal myocardium (heart tissue) and in localizing the abnormality in patients with suspected myocardial infarction (heart attack). It was also indicated for use in assessing ventricular function (cardiac pumping action). It is the first cardiac imaging agent to provide this information in a single study.
 The Du Pont Merck Pharmaceutical Company is a Fortune 500, research- based company which markets its products in 80 countries around the world. Formed in 1991 as a partnership between Du Pont and Merck & Co., Inc., Du Pont Merck is focused on discovering, developing and delivering important pharmaceuticals and radiopharmaceuticals to treat unmet medical needs primarily in the fight against heart disease, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and AIDS.
 -0- 9/10/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Williams, 508-671-8007, or Roger Morris, 302-992-4747, both for Du Pont Merck/
 (DD MRK) CO: Du Pont Merck Pharmaceutical Company ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU:


KD-PS -- NY035 -- 8063 09/10/92 13:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 10, 1992
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