Sodium Fluoride (NaF) PET/CT Imaging is a PET/CT scan that is able to detect metastatic disease to the bone with better accuracy than conventional bone scanning.
Recent published studies have shown that Sodium Fluoride has proven to be a superior imaging agent in the diagnosis of bone metastasis including detecting 45% more metastases in the spine.
Am I a good candidate for this scan?
The best candidates for this scan are patients who have primary cancers that often metastasize to the bone, patients who may have a recurrence of their previously diagnosed cancer and those with cancers of unknown primary origin.
What are the benefits of using this scan?
- Bone uptake of 18F NaF is two times higher that for 99mTc medronate.
- Rapid clearance 3 and low protein binding.
- Minimal patient prep, including no restrictions on food intake, medication or activity.
- Shorter study times (typically less than 1 hour), resulting in a more efficient workflow, improved patient convenience and faster report turnaround time to the referring physicians.
- Shorter radiation eposure period.
- Higher sensitivity.
Does the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid cover this scan?
On February 26,2010 CMS announced it will NOT cover this 18F NaF PET to identify bone metastasis of cancer on a national routine basis. HOWEVER, CMS will cover this indication under their Coverage with Evidence Development program through the National Oncologic PET Registry. This program requires as a condition of payment, the collection of data to assess the impact of PET on cancer patient management by referring physicians.
18F NaF PET claims for initial treatment strategy or subsequent treatment strategy for suspected or biopsy proven bone metastasis are covered, BUT ONLY IN THE CONTEXT OF A CLINICAL STUDY approved by CMS and in which both the patient and imaging services provider are enrolled.