Use of myocardial perfusion imaging and estimation of associated radiation doses in Germany from 2005 to 2012

O. Lindner, F. M. Bengel, M. Hacker, W. Schäfer, W. Burchert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: For several years the Working Group Cardiovascular Nuclear Medicine of the German Society of Nuclear Medicine has been performing a regular survey to obtain information on technique, utilization and development of myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (MPS). Currently, data of six surveys from 2005 to 2012 are available. The aim of this paper is to deliver a general and comprehensive overview of all surveys documenting the course of patient doses over time and the development of the method. Methods: A one-page questionnaire with number of MPS patients, number of stress and rest MPS, referral structure and several technical issues was sent to all centres performing MPS in Germany and evaluated. With the data on protocol utilization, effective MPS patient doses were estimated. Results: MPS per million population (pmp) varied between 2,380 and 2,770. In 2012, MPS pmp showed a slight increase for the first time. From 2005 to 2009 the angiography to MPS ratio increased from 3.4 to 4.4, and the revascularization to MPS ratio decreased from 0.66 to 0.53. In 2012, both indices demonstrated an opposite trend for the first time (4.1 and 0.55). A total of 108 centres participated in all surveys. They showed an increase in MPS patients of 4.0 % over the reporting period. In 2012, more than 50 % of the centres experienced no change or an increase in MPS numbers. The leading single competitor was MRI, followed by angiography and stress echocardiography. 201Tl studies have decreased since 2005 from 20 to 5 %. 99mTc MPS studies showed a mild increase in 2-day protocols. In 2012, the average effective dose per patient was estimated at 7.4 mSv. Due to the decreasing use of 201Tl, a mild decline over the observation period can be documented. Dynamic exercise stress was the most common stress test and adenosine the leading pharmacological stress agent, with a growing percentage. In 2012, the regadenoson percentage was 9 %. Gated single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) noted an increasing acceptance with >70 % in 2012. The segmental scoring of perfusion studies had a low acceptance. Ambulatory care cardiologists represented the major referral group. Conclusion: Germany has a moderate to moderate-high MPS utilization rate. Nevertheless, coronary artery disease (CAD) diagnosis and disease management are dominated by angiography. The survey data reveal a positive trend in MPS and a decrease in average patient dose reflecting good practice with guideline adherence, the implementation of technical improvements and success in training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-971
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Myocardial perfusion scintigraphy
  • Radiation exposure
  • Survey
  • Utilization statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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