Radiologic imaging plays an important role in the care of patients with a variety of heart diseases, and the ways in which imaging are used for cardiac patients is rapidly evolving. In the past, high-end cardiac imaging has been dominated by rest-stress procedures for evaluating myocardial perfusion in patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. In the modern age, however, cardiac imaging is playing an increasingly important role for a variety of tasks such as imaging infiltrative cardiomyopathies like cardiac sarcoidosis and cardiac amyloidosis, for direct assessment of myocardial viability + perfusion, as well as for emerging applications such as evaluating cardiac substrate metabolism and assessing myocardial presynaptic sympathetic nerve function. Positron emission tomography (PET) is highly suited to these functional imaging tasks, and recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the use of PET in cardiac patients. Many of these new and emerging applications, however, require imaging of two functional features of the myocardium, such as inflammation + perfusion or viability + perfusion, in the same patient. While highly efficacious PET tracers exist for these imaging targets, current technology requires that separate scans be performed for each tracer several hours apart, resulting in high cost, scheduling and logistical challenges, and undue burden on the patient. We propose to remove these obstacles by developing novel techniques for single-scan dual-tracer cardiac imaging?providing accurate images of two cardiac PET tracers in a single scan, and making these techniques available for general clinical use. Multifunctional Imaging LLC (MFI) creates software medical devices that employ patented techniques for rapidly imaging 2-3 PET tracers in a single scan, and MFI recently released the first-of-its-kind product for single-scan rest+stress myocardial perfusion imaging. This SBIR project will expand the capabilities of MFI?s software to support several dual-tracer cardiac PET techniques, enabling images of myocardial inflammation + perfusion and viability + perfusion to be obtained in just one scan. This will allow a dual- tracer procedure that currently requires several hours to be completed in under 30 minutes, thereby greatly increasing throughput, reducing radiation exposure, improving the patient experience, simplifying scheduling, and reducing costs. This Phase I project will establish a fully working prototype software medical device, establish its initial operating performance, and set the stage for full product development and validation under a subsequent Phase II project. Completion of this project will create a one-of-a-kind product for dual-tracer cardiac PET scanning, enabling new and innovative cardiac imaging procedures to be performed in the clinic.
Positron emission tomography (PET) is playing an increasing role in imaging patients with a variety of heart diseases, but it is currently limited by the need to perform two separate scans in the same patient for many of these applications. This project will develop commercializable new technologies for single-scan dual- tracer cardiac PET imaging, reducing total procedure times from several hours to only 30 minutes, bringing a host of benefits for both the patient and imaging clinic as well as enabling new and emerging cardiac imaging studies to be performed rapidly and effectively.