News | PET Imaging | October 24, 2018

PET Imaging Offers New Possibilities in Chronic Liver Disease Management

Study of PET radiotracer in preclinical mouse model may offer noninvasive alternative to liver biopsies for more personalized treatment

PET Imaging Offers New Possibilities in Chronic Liver Disease Management

Hepatic 18F-FDG, 18F-FAC, and 18F-DFA accumulation are affected in a mouse model of autoimmune hepatitis. (A) Histochemical and immunohistochemical analyses of liver sections from vehicle- and ConA-treated mice. Scale bars represent 50 microns. Transverse PET/CT images (B) and quantification (C) of vehicle- and ConA-treated mice injected with 18F-FDG, 18F-FAC, and 18FDFA. Livers are outlined in a white dotted line. Quantification represents radiotracer accumulation in the liver normalized to a background organ. Image courtesy of Salas J.R., Chen B.Y., Wong A., et al.

October 24, 2018 — While liver biopsies are powerful and reliable, they are also invasive, painful, limited and subject to complications. These effects may soon be a thing of the past for some patients thanks to new research showing positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with the 18F-FAC radiotracer can be used as a non-invasive substitute. The study is featured in the October issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.1

Sometimes immune cells work a little too hard, leading to attacks on organs, especially in instances of organ transplant. What results is a lifetime reliance on immunosuppressant drugs, which need to be carefully administered to ensure they are working as intended without dangerous side effects. Physicians look for T cells to determine whether an organ is under attack, requiring a biopsy to sample tissues. Now, PET imaging might offer a non-invasive alternative in the case of immune cell attack on the liver.

A team of researchers created a preclinical mouse model, testing the use of PET imaging to image T cells in the liver. The study shows that PET with the 18F-FAC radiotracer can be used to image T cells as they attack the liver or during treatment with an immunosuppressive drug.

"The personalized treatment of patients suffering from immune attack on the liver will require precise and quantitative methods for measuring T cells in the liver," said Peter Clark, Ph.D. "Our work describes in a preclinical model one such way of doing this. We envision that if this approach is translated into the clinic, it could lead to fewer liver biopsies and more precise treatment of patients with immune-related liver disease."

The team said they hope this study and others open the possibility of using molecular imaging to diagnose and manage chronic liver diseases as they become increasingly prevalent around the world.

"We and others are working to identify where and how molecular imaging and nuclear medicine could be used to improve the diagnosis and treatment of liver disease," Clark said. "Our study is just one example of this, but it adds to growing literature that suggests an important role for PET in the liver field."

For more information: www.jnm.snmjournals.org

Reference

1. Salas J.R., Chen B.Y., Wong A., et al. 18F-FAC PET selectively images hepatic infiltrating CD4 and CD8 T cells in a mouse model of autoimmune hepatitis. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, published online April 26, 2018. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.118.210328

Related Content

GE Healthcare Recalls Millennium Nuclear Medicine Systems
News | Nuclear Imaging | November 15, 2018
GE Healthcare announced it is recalling its Millennium Nuclear Medicine Systems due to an incident in which the the top...
Artificial Intelligence Predicts Alzheimer's Years Before Diagnosis
News | Neuro Imaging | November 14, 2018
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology improves the ability of brain imaging to predict Alzheimer’s disease, according...
Researchers Awarded 2018 Canon Medical Systems USA/RSNA Research Grants
News | Radiology Imaging | November 13, 2018
The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Research & Education (R&E) Foundation recently announced the...
Subtle Medical Showcases Artificial Intelligence for PET, MRI Scans at RSNA 2018
News | Artificial Intelligence | November 13, 2018
At the 2018 Radiological Society of North America annual meeting (RSNA 2018), Nov. 25-30 in Chicago, Subtle Medical...
University of Missouri Research Reactor First U.S. I-131 Supplier in 30 Years

MURR is the only supplier of I 131 in the United States and the first U.S. supplier since the 1980s. Image courtesy of University of Missouri

News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | November 13, 2018
The University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) recently shipped its first batch of Iodine-131 (I-131), a...
MEDraysintell Projects Increasing Mergers and Acquisitions in Nuclear Medicine
News | Nuclear Imaging | November 07, 2018
With the recent announcement by Novartis to acquire Endocyte , interest from the conventional pharmaceutical industry...
Feature | PET Imaging | November 07, 2018 | By Greg Freiherr
Positron emission tomography (PET) is getting ready to venture outside oncology, cardiology and mainstream neurology....
Podcast | PET Imaging | November 07, 2018
PET is getting ready to venture outside oncology, cardiology and mainstream neurology.
A PET/CT head and neck cancer scan.

A PET/CT head and neck cancer scan.

Feature | Nuclear Imaging | November 05, 2018 | By Sabyasachi Ghosh
“Experimental validation implemented in real-life situations and not theoretical claims exaggerating small advantages
CORAR Supports Medicare Diagnostic Radiopharmaceutical Payment Equity Act of 2018
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | October 12, 2018
October 12, 2018 — The Council on Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals Inc.