A key issue for patients who have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease is to determine whether there has been permanent damage to the heart muscle (myocardium) due to reduced supply of nutrients. This means looking at areas of the heart that are not functioning properly and determining whether the tissue is still alive (viable). PET/CT imaging using a glucose-based radiopharmaceutical, is utilized by physicians to determine myocardial viability and whether the heart can recover if blood supply is restored by revascularization.
PET/CT imaging is a sensitive technique for the identification of viable myocardial tissue in patients with coronary disease. Metabolic assessment with PET/CT imaging appears to be the most accurate test available for determining myocardial viability and therefore is considered by many to be the gold standard for predicting recovery of left ventricular function prior to surgical revascularization.2