Initial clinical experience of N13-ammonia myocardial perfusion PET/CT using a compact superconducting production system

Justin Pieper*, Vaiibhav N. Patel, Sylvia Escolero, Jacob R. Nelson, Alexis Poitrasson-Rivière, Christopher K. Shreves, Nick Freiburger, David Hubers, Jill Rothley, James R. Corbett, Joseph Oliverio, Edward P. Ficaro, Richard L. Weinberg, Venkatesh L. Murthy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Although N13-ammonia has favorable properties among FDA approved radiotracers, complexity of implementation has limited its use. We describe the initial patient experience of N13-ammonia PET imaging using a compact N13-ammonia production system. Methods: N13 was produced using the ION-12SC, a 12MeV, 10uA superconducting minimally shielded cyclotron, and reduced to N13-ammonia in an automated multi-use purification unit. Patients were power injected with 9.3 ± 1.1 mCi (344.1 ± 40.7 MBq) of N13-ammonia for rest imaging, and 18.8 ± 0.9 mCi (695.6 ± 33.3 MBq) of N13-ammonia was injected at peak hyperemia for stress testing. Images were interpreted for relative perfusion, left ventricular volumes/function, blood flow quantification, and scored for image quality. Results: In total 97 patients underwent 98 N13-ammonia PET scans (32 rest only/65 rest-stress/1 stress only). Image quality was 91.8% good or excellent. None were poor/non-diagnostic. Study durations were acceptable. Tracer related radiation dosimetry to patients was 0.7 ± 0.1 mSv (rest only), and 2.1 ± 0.1 mSv (rest-stress). Conclusion: Clinical N13-ammonia production by the Ionetix ION-12SC delivers high quality myocardial PET perfusion images in a rapid protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-299
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • PET
  • instrumentation
  • perfusion imaging agents
  • tracer development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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