Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Science


Medical Biophysics


Stodilka, Robert Z

2nd Supervisor

Warrington, James C



Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, highlighting the crucial role of early diagnosis in disease management. Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), is widely employed for this purpose, involves injecting a radiopharmaceutical into the body, imaging its distribution with a gamma camera, and revealing cardiac blood flow patterns. A significant challenge in MPI is the lengthy 8 to 10 minutes required for stress and rest imaging, potentially causing patient discomfort and compromising image quality due to movement. In a clinical study with 26 patients, post-processed data manipulation simulated a reduction in MPI imaging time. The findings indicated that MPI imaging time can be effectively shortened to 4 and 5 minutes for stress and rest imaging, respectively, maintaining clinical interpretation quality in our cohort. This promising outcome prompts further exploration of timely, comfortable MPI imaging feasibility for managing ischemic heart disease in a broader and diverse patient population.

Summary for Lay Audience

Ischemic heart disease is Canada’s second most common cause of death. Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), a form of nuclear medicine imaging, is frequently used to help diagnose ischemic heart disease. In MPI, the patient receives a radioactive drug that is distributed in the heart according to its blood flow. The radioactive drug is then imaged using a special camera designed to detect radiation. MPI helps physicians identify if there are any blocked arteries in the heart, causing heart disease. MPI is challenging because the patient must remain motionless for the 8- and 10-minute duration of the stress and rest part of the scan. Any patient motion can comprise image quality and diagnostic value of MPI. One way of minimizing the likelihood of patient motion is to reduce imaging time. However, this can only be done at the expense of image quality degradation. Our study focused on determining to what extent MPI imaging time could be reduced while still having diagnostically useful images produced. We recruited 26 participants and their images were manipulated by commercial software to simulate imaging time reduction. The results of this study showed that imaging time could be shortened to as little as 4 and 5 minutes from the original 10 and 8 minutes respectively, while still producing diagnostically useful images. These positive findings encourage further exploration into the feasibility of quicker and more comfortable MPI for a broader range of people with ischemic heart disease.