Rationale and Objectives: We sought to identify and describe the characteristics of molecular imaging (MI) programs in the United States and to determine the factors considered critical for their future. Materials and Methods: In a cross-sectional study, a validated survey was sent to members of the Society of Chairmen in Academic Radiology Departments (SCARD) in the United States, and 26 variables were studied. Results: The response rate was 40.3%; 67.9% of the departments surveyed have an MI program. The main focus of 47.4% of departments is oncology. The number of radiologists working for the department was the only variable found to be significantly positively correlated with (1) number of researchers in the MI program, (2) number of MI modalities available, (3) total number of grants, and (4) having ongoing MI clinical trials. These four variables plus the number of federal grants and the space used by MI programs were independent of the geographical region, hospital size (number of beds), and department size (number of radiological examinations per year). All the MI programs received grants during 2005. Only 16.1% have no alliances with industry. Among all the departments, 82% identified staff training and recruitment as the keys for success; 78.57% considered oncology the most important future application of MI and cancer management the hospital service most affected by MI. Conclusion: MI programs are starting to be more widespread throughout the United States, and the trend is for more academic radiology departments to become engaged in MI activities; their development is independent of department characteristics. Radiology departments strongly agreed about the key components for success of MI initiatives and the areas that will be most affected by MI applications.
- Molecular imaging
- molecular imaging development
- molecular imaging programs
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging