The Particulars: Single photon emission computed tomography myocardial perfusion imaging (SPECT MPI) is typically performed with patients lying in the supine position. Previous research indicates that adding prone imaging improves the specificity and overall accuracy for detecting coronary artery disease (CAD). The impact of this addition on a nuclear cardiology laboratory’s standard imaging protocol has yet to be defined.

Data Breakdown: For a study, researchers compared data for patients who underwent SPECT MPI only in the supine position with data for those who underwent imaging in both the supine and prone positions. Significantly more studies were interpreted as normal with supine plus prone imaging, when compared with supine only (73% vs 66%). The percentages of patients referred to angiography and found to have CAD were similar in both groups.

Take Home Pearl: Adding prone imaging to supine SPECT MPI appears to increase the percentage of studies interpreted as normal without impacting the rate of patients found to have CAD.