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12.09.2019 | Brief Report

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

Journal of Nuclear Cardiology
MD Justin Pieper, MD Vaiibhav N. Patel, BS Sylvia Escolero, BS Jacob R. Nelson, PhD Alexis Poitrasson-Rivière, BS Christopher K. Shreves, BS, MPH Nick Freiburger, RPh, BCNP David Hubers, BS, CNMT Jill Rothley, MD James R. Corbett, BS, MBA Joseph Oliverio, PhD Edward P. Ficaro, MD, PhD Richard L. Weinberg, MD, PhD Venkatesh L. Murthy
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12350-019-01886-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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Justin Pieper and Vaiibhav N. Patel contributed equally to this work and are co-first authors.
Richard L. Weinberg and Venkatesh L. Murthy contributed equally to this work and are co-senior authors.

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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.


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.


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).


Clinical N13-ammonia production by the Ionetix ION-12SC delivers high quality myocardial PET perfusion images in a rapid protocol.

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