News | PET-CT | November 01, 2016

Optical and PET/CT Probes Detect Early Signs of Atherosclerosis

The activity-based probes image the vascular inflammation involved in plaque formation

PET/CT, atherosclerotic plaque detection, Stanford University

Application of dual-modality optical and PET/CT activity-based probe in experimental carotid inflammation model. Coronal noninvasive PET/CT scans of (A) healthy and (B) diseased mice with and without ligated carotid arteries respectively. Inset images show optical ex vivo florescence imagining of (A) healthy and (B) diseased carotid arteries.  PET/CT and optical images courtesy of Xiaowei Ma, Toshinobu Saito and Nimali Withana.

November 1, 2016 — Researchers at Stanford University have demonstrated for the first time the use of a dual optical and positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) activity-based probe to detect atherosclerotic plaques. The study is published in the October issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Atherosclerosis is largely an asymptomatic disease where plaques develop over decades and symptoms do not appear until greater than 70 percent of a vessel is occluded. This results in significant risk of severe cardiovascular events such as stroke or myocardial infractions, highlighting the need for early, non-invasive diagnosis of the disease.

Matthew Bogyo, Ph.D., one of the lead authors of the study explained, “This collaborative study with Zhen Cheng, Ph.D., and Michael McConnell, M.D., provides evidence that these probes have potential benefits for non-invasive imaging of atherosclerotic plaque inflammation, potentially leading to the application of this probe in the clinic to help identify patients at high risk of developing premature atherosclerosis.”

Macrophages are cellular mediators of vascular inflammation and are involved in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. These immune cells secrete proteases such as matrix metalloproteinases and cathepsins that contribute to disease formation and progression. In this study, activity-based probes (ABPs) targeting cysteine cathepsins were used in mouse models of atherosclerosis to non-invasively image activated macrophage populations using both optical and PET/CT methods. The probes were also used to topically label human carotid plaques, demonstrating similar specific labeling of activated macrophage populations. 

The study demonstrates that ABPs targeting the cysteine cathepsins offer a rapid, non-invasive way to image atherosclerotic disease progression and plaque vulnerability.

Bogyo noted, “What’s novel about this is the fact that these probes provide accurate detection of lesions undergoing high levels of inflammatory activity and extracellular matrix remodeling. They not only enable early disease detection, they can provide real-time monitoring of therapeutic responses and clinical drug efficacy.”

He sees broader uses for the probes in the future. “The probes show efficacy in a variety of imaging modalities, including fluorescence, PET/CT, and topical application of the probe to fresh frozen murine and human tissue sections. These tools further demonstrate that the future of molecular imaging and nuclear medicine will be focused on agents that allow specific targeting of disease-associated proteins or markers that allow monitoring of disease onset, progress and response to therapeutic agents,” he said.

For more information: www.jnm.snmjournals.org

Related Content

Appropriate Use Criteria Published for Valvular Heart Disease Imaging Tests
News | Clinical Decision Support | October 16, 2017
The American College of Cardiology (ACC), along with several partnering societies, recently released appropriate use...
ASNC and ASE Team Up to Expand ImageGuide Registry
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | October 12, 2017
The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) and the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) jointly announced...
MR Solutions Showcases Multimodality MRI Solutions on Two Continents
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | October 11, 2017
October 11, 2017 — MR Solutions took their cryogen-free preclinical multimodality...
ACR Appropriateness Criteria Add Topics, Increase Diagnostic Imaging Clinical Scenarios
News | Clinical Decision Support | October 11, 2017
October 11, 2017 — Radiologists can enhance the quality and effectiveness of care with the newest release of the...
Medis Releases QAngio CT v3.1
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | October 09, 2017
October 9, 2017 — Medis has released a new version of its QAngio...
Majority of Recurrent Prostate Cancer Patients' Treatment Plan Changed Following Fluciclovine 18F PET/CT
News | Prostate Cancer | October 04, 2017
Blue Earth Diagnostics recently announced the results of a pre-planned interim analysis from an investigational...
Toshiba Showcases MRI Workflow Enhancements at RSNA 2017
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | September 21, 2017
September 21, 2017 — Toshiba Medical will highlight its latest...
News | Business | September 19, 2017
September 19, 2017 — Invicro LLC, a provider of imaging services and software for research and drug development, anno
ScImage and Invia Partnership Announced
News | PACS | September 19, 2017
ScImage Inc. and Invia Imaging Solutions recently announced formation of a joint partnership at the American Society of...
Toshiba Highlights Latest CT Advancements at RSNA 2017
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 18, 2017
Toshiba Medical announced that it will display several new enhancements to its existing computed tomography (CT)...
Overlay Init