Multimodality imaging represents an area of rapid growth with important professional implications for both radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians throughout Europe. As a preliminary step for future action aimed at improving the quality and accessibility of PET-SPECT/CT multimodality imaging practice in Europe, the European Society of Radiology (ESR) and the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) performed a survey among the individual memberships of both societies to obtain information on the status of multimodality imaging in their facilities and their future visions on training for combined modalities.
A questionnaire was forwarded to all individual members of ESR and EANM. The main subject matter of the questionnaire related to: (1) study performance, current procedures and current equipment, including its supervisory personnel at respondents’ individual facilities, and (2) vision of future practice, performance and the potential for combined interdisciplinary viewing and training for future professionals.
The reporting and the billing procedures of multimodality imaging studies are very heterogeneous in European countries. The majority of the members of both societies believe that the proportion of PET/CT conducted as a full diagnostic CT with contrast enhancement will increase over time. As expected, 18F-FDG is the most used PET tracer for clinical applications. The large majority of respondents were in favour of an interdisciplinary training programme, being developed on a European level together by ESR and EANM and the respective sections of the European Union of Medical Specialists.
The results of this survey show that there is wide heterogeneity in the current practice of multimodality imaging in Europe. This situation may limit the full potential and integration of multimodality imaging within the clinical arena. There is a strong desire within both specialties for the development of interdisciplinary training to address some of these issues.