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J Nucl Cardiol. 2004 Jul-Aug;11(4):393-407.

Second Annual Mario S. Verani, MD, Memorial Lecture: Nuclear cardiology, the next 10 years.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


The nuclear cardiology of the future will be based on new clinical and biologic targets. It will be driven by modern concepts of molecular and cell biology and molecular genetics. A major effort involves detection of atherosclerosis and vascular vulnerability. Approaches include targeting proliferating smooth muscle cells, angiogenesis, vascular injury, inflammation through a variety of mechanisms, defining cell death and protease activation, and imaging gene expression. Another new clinical target involves imaging stem cells and various progenitor cells. To meet these new objectives, advanced imaging technology is required. This involves the development of micro-single photon emission computed tomography and micro-positron emission tomography systems as well as fusion technology involving radiologic computed tomography imaging together with nuclear imaging. Vascular lesion detection imaging may require intravascular detectors. The future of nuclear cardiology, based on molecular imaging, is extraordinarily exciting. The newly defined biologic targets will allow the answering of many of the key clinical questions that will dominate cardiovascular care in cardiovascular investigation over the next decade.

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