DAISY-heart-beerTo celebrate national heart month in February, we shared healthy heart tips and how a cyclotron unit at Castle Hill would improve local services for cardiac patients in the area.

A cyclotron unit will enable the creation of appropriate radiotracers on site. Unlike other pharmaceutical products that are made in large quantities and transported in, many cardiac radiotracers have a short half-life and must be manufactured locally. They are tailored to each patient’s needs, giving an individual level of care.

Ged Avery, expert radiologist at Castle Hill, explains: “The cyclotron will give us the ability to produce very short half-life tracers e.g. Carbon 11 – which has a 20 minute half-life – and possibly Ammonia –10 minutes half-life – on site. These can be used to assess myocardial blood flow and perfusion, detect obstructive coronary artery disease and can be used to look at rarer problems, such as cardiac inflammation from sarcoidosis.

“CT can be used to perform either calcium assessment; looking at the level of calcification in the arteries, or angiography; looking at the lumen of the arteries to check for occlusion or narrowing. These two techniques of functional and anatomical imaging are complementary and investigation pathways to include both scans at the same appointment are being researched elsewhere.

“The information is used to decide whether either stent insertion or coronary artery bypass grafting is appropriate for a particular patient and to guide which vessels to treat. Having the cyclotron on site will also greatly help our joint research with the University and participate in development of new tracers with external agencies.”

Look after your heart and help our campaign. You can make a donation by visiting the link above or if you have a fundraising idea please contact Jan.