Automatic analysis of ventricular function by nuclear imaging

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It is estimated that greater than 40% of patients undergoing myocardial perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in the United States today are studied using the gating technique. The use of gated myocardial perfusion SPECT is growing because of its ability to provide both perfusion and function information with a single radiopharmaceutical injection and a single acquisition sequence. The use of gated blood pool SPECT is considerably less widespread, but it has the potential to compete favorably with conventional planar gated blood pool imaging. As a result of the increased use of gating in nuclear imaging, considerable effort has been expended toward automating the analysis of gated SPECT data. This review covers advances in 1) the development of automatic or semiautomatic algorithms for the quantitative measurement of left ventricular function, 2) the validation and reproducibility of parameters measured by such algorithms, and 3) novel clinical applications of these quantitative capabilities.

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