Medical imaging has always been essential for the diagnosis and management of many problems encountered in cardiothoracic surgical practice, from the assessment of cardiac function (e.g., by providing the location and extent of an infarct), to defining the extent of a malignancy via noninvasive imaging modalities to guide the choice of more invasive steps (e.g., biopsies or resections). Although most imaging still relies on standard radiological modalities such as computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) has become more widely used in the US since its most recent clinical breakthrough. With the increasing availability of combined PET/CT units that deliver both anatomical and metabolic information in a single examination, PET imaging can potentially be used to a greater extent than what has been previously attainable. This review will provide an overview of recent advances in imaging that are likely to influence the direction of cardiothoracic surgery in the near future.
Bidaut, L., Akhurst, T., & Downey, R. J. (2004). Advanced imaging including PET/CT for cardiothoracic surgery. Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 16(3), 272-282. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.semtcvs.2004.08.011