The main role of the Nuclear Cardiologist is, in common with all medical specialities, the assessment of the patient but also whether the appropriate nuclear medicine technique can add to the patient's clinical management. Techniques that are used for diagnosis, include perfusion imaging and radionuclide ventriculography.
Perfusion imaging is usually performed following stress, which may be dynamic (using, for example a treadmill), or by employing various pharmacological agents. Images are obtained using a gamma camera (often tomographically) and analysis uses computer software, which is specially adapted to provide unique functional data, then used in clinical patient management.
In addition to diagnostic information, these techniques provide prognostic information which has been shown to be cost effective in the management of the cardiac patient.
What skills are required?
Doctors with a good grounding in General Medicine, with specialist interest in Cardiovascular Medicine. Because practitioners in Nuclear Cardiology may come from various disciplines, please refer also to training for Physicians in Nuclear Medicine and Radiologists.
What qualifications are required?
In order to be eligible for appointment to the Specialist Registrar (SpR) grade, the criteria detailed in the National Person Specification must be fulfilled.
- MBBS or equivalent
- MRCP (UK), (Ireland) or FRCP or equivalent
- Minimum 2 years General Professional Training in approved posts.
Nuclear Cardiology Training
Experience of Nuclear Cardiology techniques is now a requirement for Calman Training of Cardiology SpR's, both at a basic and advanced level.
There are also two more advanced routes into Nuclear Cardiology as a speciality.
- via year 6 cardiology training and an advanced nuclear training scheme and
- via nuclear medicine training, whereby all trainees will receive general nuclear medicine training to include nuclear cardiology, but can choose nuclear cardiology as their subspecialty interest, with the intention of trying to find a Consultancy which will allow them to develop their interest.
British Cardiac Society / BNCS Guidelines
Basic training :
6 month part time attachment, 75 perfusion images, 25 cardiac blood pool
During this time, experience should encompass use of radiopharmaceuticals, gamma camera operation, computerised acquisition and processing, stress testing, radiation protection and lung scanning.
12 months, major interest of all aspects with involvement in 100 additional perfusion images, 50 CBP
Dr Andrew Kelion - President BNCS
Department of Nuclear Medicine
Royal Brompton Hospital
London SW3 6NP
Tel: (0)1895 82 37 37
Fax: (0)1895 82 28 70
Sonia Crossley, BNCS Membership
c/o Department of Nuclear Medicine
Royal Brompton Hospital
Sydney Street, London, SW3 6NP
Tel: 020 7351 8884
Fax: 020 7351 8885
British Cardiac Society
Dr M Petch
Education Committee Chairman,
9 Fitzroy Square
London W1T 5HW
Tel: 020 7383 3887
Fax: 020 7388 0903