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TMIC performs advanced cardiac scan.

Tawam Molecular Imaging Centre (TMIC), a leading molecular imaging facility in Al Ain, has performed UAE's first PET.CT cardiac myocardial perfusion scan, utilizing the latest globally available technology.

The new scan looks at blood flow in the heart, bringing current international best practices in the field of cardiac molecular imaging to Al Ain and the region.

This revolutionary diagnostic technology provides a non-invasive assessment of blood flow to the heart muscle, enabling physicians to achieve a new level of sensitivity in imaging with regard to assessing patient risk, coronary function, vascular blood flow and cardiovascular disease.

The new cardiac PET.CT scan has been made possible with an advanced protocol compiled by the team of professionals at TMIC. The procedure requires a dedicated on-site cyclotron capable of producing nitrogen isotopes, along with a state-of-the-art 64-slice PET.CT scanner and advanced analysis software.

"The use of myocardial perfusion PET.CT is a major technical advance in cardiac care in the UAE," said Thomas F Heston, MD, consultant physician in the UAE, a Fellow of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, and medical director of the cardiac PET.CT program at TMIC.

"The new technology is safer than older techniques in terms of radiation exposure, but delivers higher quality images," he added.

TMIC, wholly owned by Mubadala Healthcare, is the UAE's first diagnostic centre with an on-site cyclotron which produces the necessary tracers, essential for accurate PET.CT examinations.

Immediate access to these tracers facilitates faster more accurate examinations, provides diagnostic examinations which were previously only available abroad and provides other diagnostic facilities in the vicinity access to this important technology.

The new technique allows clinical decisions regarding cardiac care to be based on additional objective, physiological measures of heart muscle function and blood flow.

Patients receive an injection of nitrogen tracers, which are taken up by cardiac cells, and act like a 'beacon' to highlight normal and abnormal blood flow. Like most diagnostic imaging, the scan involves a small amount of radioactivity, but the PET.CT technique requires about 80 per cent less radiation than the older gamma camera examination, commonly referred to as a cardiac SPECT scan.

"Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the UAE driving the search for sustainable and innovative ways to improve patient safety and manage cardiac disease, cost effectively. Early diagnostic accuracy is therefore a top priority," said Dr Heston.

"Our goal is to help improve medical care by making available safe and accurate diagnostic tests to patients. We can now offer the UAE advanced PET.CT technology, not only for cancer patients, but also for patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease," concluded Dr Heston. -- TradeArabia News Service

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jan 20, 2011
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