Institute of Nuclear Medicine


Rubidium in Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Artery Disease is the UK's biggest killer, with one in every four men and one in every six women dying from the disease. An established tool for the diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and the assessment of blood flow to the muscular walls of the heart is myocardial perfusion imaging with Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPET) with Technetium-99m-methoxyisobutylisonitrile (Tc-99m-MIBI).  Newly available in Europe, is Positron Emission Tomography (PET) with Rubidium-82. Rubidium-82 PET potentially has major benefits for patients:

  • it reduces the patient's journey from 1 to 2 days, to 30 minutes,
  • it offers a significant reduction in radiation exposure,
  • it offers similar if not better image quality, with fewer imaging artefacts.

The main purpose of this diagnostic accuracy study is to compare myocardial perfusion imaging using Rubidium-82 PET with Tc-99m-MIBI SPET, in the evaluation of significant Coronary Artery Disease.  The two methods will be compared to a third one, coronary CT angiography, as a reference standard.

The participants will each have Rubidium-82 PET, Tc-99m-MIBI SPET and coronary CT angiography.  The diagnostic performance of Rubidium-82 PET and Tc-99m-MIBI SPET will be compared. Patient preference between the two scans will be ascertained by means of a questionnaire.

57 patients recruited and analysed to date: with respect to image quality, certainty of interpretation and diagnostic accuracy.