Emerging role of nuclear cardiology in heart failure

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The management of patients with heart failure requires the integration of clinical skills and accurate complementary tests for the correct diagnosis, treatment and estimation of individual prognosis. Identification of those patients most at risk of death, and those most likely to benefit from currently available treatment technologies, remains a challenge. Although the basic characterization of patients with heart failure is supported primarily by the assessment of the left ventricular function, there are several nuclear cardiology techniques and tracers, either available or under development, which can provide important noninvasive imaging insights into the pathophysiology, prognosis and management of patients with heart failure. Nuclear techniques for molecular imaging of the myocardium such as those involved in the processes of myocardial perfusion, metabolism and viability, cellular injury, dyssynchrony, intersticial dysregulation and neurohormonal receptor function may facilitate better clinical outcomes for patients with heart failure. This review mainly focuses on cardiac sympathetic imaging, as other modalities of nuclear cardiology in the assessment of patients with HF are reviewed more extensively in other sections of this issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-212
JournalQuarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Heart failure
  • Myocardial perfusion imaging


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