The 19th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Singapore Radiological Society was jointly organized with the College of Radiologists, Singapore, from Feb. 25 through 28. I have attended this meeting the past three years as it gives me ample opportunity to interact with my colleagues and feel the pulse of radiology in and around the region. Each year, the focus is on a hot topic, and this year’s topic was nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.
It’s not enough that sidelined nuclear reactors are restricting the supply of technetium for cardiac SPECT. Or that reimbursements for SPECT procedures are falling. Now the besieged modality has to contend with a challenge from CT.
Standard nuclear scintigraphy of parathyroid cancer produces enough false positives for patients with multigland disease to lead researchers to recommend rapid intraoperative parathyroid hormone assay along with preoperative technetium-99m sestamibi imaging to assure that all lesions have been removed.
SNM's Clinical Trials Network has expanded to include relationships with European PET radiopharmaceutical manufacturing sites to support molecular and nuclear imaging facilities on the continent that are gearing up to perform scientific studies for the program.
It should come as no surprise that the nuclear medicine community is struggling to keep up with the number of prescribed heart and bone exams. Technetium is typically used in the U.S. for more than 16 million nuclear medicine tests each year—but not this year. A survey by the SNM found that three quarters of nuclear medicine physicians are delaying patient tests, in many cases longer than a month. A shortage of medical-grade molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the isotope critical to generating technetium, is the reason.