Coordinator of Research Team
Name Roberto Sciagrà
Position Associate Professor
Name of Research Team/Laboratory Nuclear Medicine
Brief biographical sketch of the Coordinator
Born in Florence on 1955, November 10th, graduated in Medicine at the University of Florence in 1980, Specialist in Cardiology in 1983, and Specialist in Nuclear Medicine in 1986, both at the same University of Florence. In 1984 – 1985 Fellow at the Georg August University in Göttingen, Germany. After having worked as physician in Cardiology and later in Nuclear Medicine, since 2002 is Associate Professor for Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Florence, where he is Director of the Specialty School of Nuclear Medicine and since 2017 Director of the Nuclear Medicine Unit of the Careggi University Hospital. He is member of the Cardiovascular Committee of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine. He is author of more of 150 articles, more than 160 abstracts and 13 chapter in books.
Member of the scientific board of the Doctorate in:
Member of the following Scientific Societies
1) European Association of Nuclear Medicine
2) Associazione Italiana di Medicina Nucleare
3) Gruppo Italiano di Cardiologia Nucleare
Member of the editorial board of the following Journals
1) European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
2) Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Current research interests
Presently the main research fields are in the use of cardiac Positron Emission Tomography (PET) for the measurement of myocardial blood flow and the evaluation of coronary microvascular dysfunction in different conditions such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and CADASIL. Moreover, he is working on the possibility of assessing separately subendocardial and subepicardial blood flow in coronary artery disease and on the evaluation of its possible clinical implications. Other research projects involve the use of FDG PET for detecting myocardial ischemia in the setting of acute coronary syndromes. Finally, he is still active in the field of myocardial perfusion imaging with Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and in particular on the value of the functional changes detected by early post stress imaging.
Other topics of the research group:
Non-linear inverse problems, functional MRI and MRSI, Geometrical system response and diffusion modelling in both Single Photon Emission Tomography and Positron Emission Tomography.
Specific correlation between brain metabolic activity at FDG-PET and different phenotypes in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Fronto-Temporal Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Primary Progressive Aphasia, neurodegenerative parkinsonisms. Brain PET imaging with amyloid tracers, including development of novel quantification methods and correlation with CSF biomarkers. Effect of cognitive reserve and other protective/risk factors.
PET imaging of hematologic malignancies. PET imaging of head/neck cancer, including development of novel evaluation methods. Nuclear Medicine Imaging of neuroendocrine tumors. Radiomics, and its correlation with clinical and anatomopathological data.
Evaluation of the reliability of a fixed dose regimen in the radiometabolic treatment of toxic and pre-toxic thyroid adenomas.
Current / recent sources of funding
1) Ricerca Finalizzata 2011, Italian Ministry of Health
2) CompTo-NM project (currently running) – source: Regione Toscana, RS 2017
3) University of Florence, Bando Giovani Ricercatori RTD2016
4) Bando Giovani Ricercatori, Ministero della Salute
Previous research experiences
In the previous years, the team devoted its activity to the issues of the assessment of the results of interventions in acute myocardial infarction, with one of the first direct demonstrations of the thrombolysis efficacy. Later, the group worked on the evaluation of myocardial viability in patients with left ventricular dysfunction, demonstrating the accuracy of nitrate-enhanced Sestamibi imaging. Then, the research team performed several studies using the infarct size measured using Sestamibi gated SPECT for the assessment of the effectiveness of primary percutaneous intervention in acute myocardial infarction. In neuroimgaing, the team worked on the Correlation between different nuclear medicine imaging biomarkers in Parkinson’s disease, the association between PET imaging biomarkers and genetic risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease and PET neuroimaging in Huntington’s disease.
Main scientific contributions
- Single photon emission computed tomography with technetium-99m hexakis 2-methoxyisobutyl isonitrile in acute myocardial infarction before and after thrombolytic treatment: assessment of salvaged myocardium and prediction of late functional recovery. Santoro GM, Bisi G, Sciagrà R, Leoncini M, Fazzini PF, Meldolesi U. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1990 Feb;15(2):301-14.
- Rest technetium-99m sestamibi tomography in combination with short-term administration of nitrates: feasibility and reliability for prediction of postrevascularization outcome of asynergic territories. Bisi G, Sciagrà R, Santoro GM, Fazzini PF. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1994 Nov 1;24(5):1282-9.
- Prognostic implications of Tc-99m sestamibi viability imaging and subsequent therapeutic strategy in patients with chronic coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction. Sciagrà R, Pellegri M, Pupi A, Bolognese L, Bisi G, Carnovale V, Santoro GM. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2000 Sep;36(3):739-45.
- Gated SPECT evaluation of outcome after abciximab-supported primary infarct artery stenting for acute myocardial infarction: the scintigraphic data of the abciximab and carbostent evaluation (ACE) randomized trial. Sciagrà R, Parodi G, Pupi A, Migliorini A, Valenti R, Moschi G, Santoro GM, Memisha G, Antoniucci D. J Nucl Med. 2005 May;46(5):722-7.
- Prognostic implications of post-stress ejection fraction decrease detected by gated SPECT in the absence of stress-induced perfusion abnormalities. Dona M, Massi L, Settimo L, Bartolini M, Giannì G, Pupi A, Sciagrà R. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2011 Mar;38(3):485-90. doi: 10.1007/s00259-010-1643-6.
The research group is part of the network comparing the various software platforms and compartmental models for the measurement of myocardial blood flow. Moreover, it cooperates with the IAEA for the evaluation of MPI in the developing countries. Finally, it is part of the scientific network of the Italian Group of Nuclear Cardiology (GICN). It has a collaboration with the NYU, Center for Brain Health.