Combination of SPECT, Cardiac MRI Helps Guide VT Ablation

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Adding functional imaging to structural imaging of patients with ventricular tachycardia (VT) has the potential to improve current VT ablation strategies, according to new research from the University of Maryland.

In the study, researchers followed 15 patients who were scheduled for ablation for VT. Each patient underwent imaging with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and MRI, as well as high-resolution bipolar voltage mapping. These three mapping tools assessed various adaptations found in VT — abnormal innervation, tissue scarring, and low-voltage area. In all cases, the VT site of origin was localized to areas of the tissue with abnormal innervation and MRI scar, identifying an area of abnormal tissue that is likely to be an appropriate target for VT ablation.

“Results from this study show that nuclear medicine can be used to develop novel, cutting-edge strategies for risk stratification and arrhythmia treatment,” said Timm Dickfeld, M.D., director of electrophysiology research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The research was published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (


Published: February 2019
multimodality imaging
A technique that combines two or more imaging processes in order to minimize the disadvantages within each of the contributing processes. In medical applications, combining multiple modalities improves the ability of diagnosing and tracking diseases. Anatomical imaging technologies such as computed tomography (CT) provide structural detail, while functional modalities such as positron emission tomography (PET) provide insight on functional behaviors. The combination of these two categories...
laser ablation
Laser ablation is a process that involves the removal or erosion of material from a target surface using laser energy. This technique is widely used in various scientific, industrial, and medical applications. The intense energy from the laser beam interacts with the material, causing it to undergo physical and chemical changes, ultimately leading to its removal. Key features of laser ablation include: Laser energy: A high-energy laser beam is directed onto the surface of a material. The...
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