ASNC in 2010 called on the imaging community to work to cut patient radiation exposure in SPECT myocardial profusion imaging, setting a benchmark for next year. And for some practices, lowering radiation dose and acquisition time is now feasible with the help of advanced hardware and software and improved protocols. However, the expense involved in enhancing or acquiring a SPECT system remains a hurdle, and data collected in 2011 by ASNC and MedAxiom indicate many practices have equipment that is more than six years old. Ernest Garcia of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta emphasizes value over raw cost, but other experts said there are less costly approaches to updating systems, such as the use of cardiology-focused collimators and reconstruction algorithms.

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