Feature | January 23, 2014

Researchers Use PET to Image Vulnerable Plaques Before Rupture

Team tests sugar-based tracer to find inflamed high-risk artery plaques

January 23, 2014 — An international research team at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is testing a sugar-based tracer contrast agent to be used with positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to help identify dangerous inflammation and high-risk vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque inside vessel walls that causes acute heart attacks and strokes.
 
The team investigated possible advantages of the proposed imaging agent fluorodeoxymannose (FDM) sugar-based tracer in comparison to fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a glucose-based tracer widely used in patients undergoing PET imaging.
 
“Pre-clinical testing shows that PET imaging with the radiotracer FDM may potentially offer a more targeted strategy to detect dangerous, high-risk plaques and inflammation that may be associated with serious cardiovascular events,” said Jagat Narula, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator, director of the cardiovascular imaging program at The Mount Sinai Hospital and associate dean of global health at Icahn. “Although the research team’s investigations of the FDM tracer shows that it performs comparably to the traditional FDG tracer, it is expected that the new sugar tracer may have an advantage to more specifically target inflammation because the plaque infiltrating macrophages develop mannose receptors (MRs).”
 
Co-author Jogeshwar Mukherjee, Ph.D., and his team of radiochemists at the University of California, Irvine, labeled FDM with Fluorine-18, which enters the cells through glucose transporters. Study results showed mannose is taken up by a specific subset of macrophage cells that dwell in high-risk plaques, which have developed the mannose receptors. This may represent the theoretical advantage of FDM over the FDG tracer. These macrophages (M2) within atherosclerotic plaques tend to overly express MRs, and are especially common in inflamed and hemorrhagic arterial lesions.
 
In the study FDG and FDM were compared using PET imaging in atherosclerosis animal models. Uptake of each tracer within atherosclerotic plaques and macrophage cells were similar and FDM tracers showed at least a 25 percent higher FDM uptake advantage due to MR-bearing macrophages.
 
“The FDM binds to MR-bearing macrophages while FDG does not bind to the MR receptors,” said study co-author Zahi Fayad, Ph.D., director of the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute at Icahn.
 
Researchers also observed FDM uptake occurred in the presence of atherosclerosis and almost none in non-atherosclerosis control models.
 
For more information: www.mountsinai.org

Related Content

Study Demonstrates First Human Application of Novel PET Tracer for Prostate Cancer

Transaxial 11Csarcosine hybrid PET/CT showed a (triangulated) adenocarcinoma in the transition zone of the anterior right prostate gland on PET (A), CT (B), and a separately obtained T2?weighted MR sequence (C) with resulting PET/MRI registration (D). Image courtesy of M. Piert et al., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | August 16, 2017
In the featured translational article in the August issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, researchers at the...
MRI Reveals Striking Brain Differences in People with Genetic Autism

Example images for a control participant , a deletion carrier, and a duplication carrier. In the sagittal image of the deletion carrier, the thick corpus callosum, dens and craniocervical abnormality, and cerebellar ectopia are shown. For the duplication carrier, the sagittal image shows the thin corpus callosum and the axial image shows the increased ventricle size and decreased white matter volume. Image courtesy of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

News | Neuro Imaging | August 09, 2017
August 9, 2017 — In the first major study of its kind, researchers using magnetic...
Clinical Data Supports Use of Xoft System for Endometrial Cancer
News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 03, 2017
Researchers presented clinical data supporting use of the Xoft Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx) System for the...
brain with chronic traumatic injury
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 02, 2017
Fighters are exposed to repeated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), which has been associated with neurodegenerative...
NIH-funded scientists have discovered that Parkinson’s disease increases the amount of “free” water in a particular brain area

NIH-funded scientists have discovered that Parkinson’s disease increases the amount of “free” water in a particular brain area. Image courtesy of David Vaillancourt, Ph.D., University of Florida.

News | Neuro Imaging | July 31, 2017
Scientists at the University of Florida have discovered a new method of observing the brain changes caused by Parkinson...
more healthcare providers and patients are choosing options such as Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery
News | Radiation Therapy | July 31, 2017
Each year, up to 650,000 people who were previously diagnosed with various forms of cancer will develop brain...
"Residual Echo" of Ancient Humans May Hold Clues to Mental Disorders

MRI data shows (left) areas of the skull preferentially affected by the amount of Neanderthal-derived DNA and (right) areas of the brain’s visual system in which Neanderthal gene variants influenced cortex folding (red) and gray matter volume (yellow). Image courtesy of Michael Gregory, M.D., NIMH Section on Integrative Neuroimaging

News | Neuro Imaging | July 26, 2017
Researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have produced the first direct evidence that parts of...
New York Hospital Finds Significant Cost Savings With Toshiba’s Aquilion One CT
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 25, 2017
In five years, Kaleida Health’s Stroke Care Center (SCC) at the Gates Vascular Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., has realized...
Overlay Init