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AHCPR Publishes Two New Technology Reports

Press Release Date: August 14, 1995

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) today announced the availability of two new health technology reports—"Combined Liver-Kidney Transplantation" (CLKT) and "Myocardial Perfusion Imaging with Rubidium 82 Positron Emission Tomography." Findings from the combined liver-kidney transplantation report indicate that CLKT performed as the initial procedure for patients with both liver and kidney failure is equally effective in terms of patient survival as isolated liver transplantation in patients with liver failure only, at least for the first year after transplant. However, CLKT performed after prior liver transplant appears to be associated with a significant decrease in patient survival. AHCPR's Center for Health Care Technology evaluated the effectiveness of CLKT at the request of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS).

The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) requested the evaluation of myocardial perfusion imaging with rubidium 82 positron emission tomography (PET). Rubidium 82 PET, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and planar scintigraphy are among the techniques that have been used for the noninvasive evaluation of the perfusion of the heart. AHCPR's evaluation compared the sensitivity and specificity of PET with that of thallium 201 SPECT. Findings from this evaluation concluded that both methods appear to be useful for evaluating myocardial perfusion (blood supply to the heart) and for making further management and therapeutic decisions regarding cardiac patients. However, AHCPR's review also found that it is not apparent whether images using rubidium 82 PET lead to better results (i.e., sensitivity and specificity) than those obtained from using thallium 201 SPECT.

Free copies of "Combined Liver-Kidney Transplantation," Health Technology Review No. 9 (AHCPR Publication No. 95-0012) and "Myocardial Perfusion Imaging with Rubidium 82 Positron Emission Tomography," Health Technology Review No. 10 (AHCPR Publication No. 95-0023) are available from the AHCPR Publications Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907 (1-800-358-9295).

For additional information, contact AHCPR Public Affairs: Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855.

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