Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

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Released February 21, 2013

Avoid using a computed tomography angiogram to diagnose pulmonary embolism in young women with a normal chest radiograph; consider a radionuclide lung study (“V/Q study”) instead.

  • When the clinical question is whether or not pulmonary emboli are present, a V/Q study can provide the answer with lower overall radiation dose to the breast than can CTA, even when performed with a breast shield.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) appointed a Steering Committee, led by the president-elect, to develop the “Top 5” list. This committee solicited input from five SNMMI clinical specialty councils (cardiovascular, brain, nuclear oncology, general nuclear medicine, pediatric) and our PET Center of Excellence. A task force made up of the Steering Committee and specialty council/center leadership convened, and its members also provided recommendations. The Steering Committee reviewed and ranked the submissions and presented the five highest-ranked statements to the SNMMI Board of Directors and House of Delegates.

SNMMI’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be obtained by contacting the organization (


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