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Functional characterization of atherosclerosis is a promising application of molecular imaging. Radionuclide-based techniques for molecular imaging in the large arteries (e.g. aorta and carotids), along with ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have been studied both experimentally and in clinical studies. Technical factors including cardiac and respiratory motion, low spatial resolution and partial volume effects mean that noninvasive molecular imaging of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries is not ready for prime time. Positron emission tomography imaging with fluorodeoxyglucose can measure vascular inflammation in the large arteries with high reproducibility, and signal change in response to anti-inflammatory therapy has been described. MRI has proven of value for quantifying carotid artery inflammation when iron oxide nanoparticles are used as a contrast agent. Macrophage accumulation of the iron particles allows regression of inflammation to be measured with drug therapy. Similarly, contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging is also being evaluated for functional characterization of atherosclerotic plaques. For all of these techniques, however, large-scale clinical trials are mandatory to define the prognostic importance of the imaging signals in terms of risk of future vascular events.
Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular and Immunological Sciences, University Federico II, Naples, Italy.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging
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The use of molecularly targeted imaging probes to localize and/or monitor biochemical and cellular processes via various imaging modalities that include RADIONUCLIDE IMAGING; ULTRASONOGRAPHY; MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING; fluorescence imaging; and MICROSCOPY.
Any of various enzymatically catalyzed post-translational modifications of PEPTIDES or PROTEINS in the cell of origin. These modifications include carboxylation; HYDROXYLATION; ACETYLATION; PHOSPHORYLATION; METHYLATION; GLYCOSYLATION; ubiquitination; oxidation; proteolysis; and crosslinking and result in changes in molecular weight and electrophoretic motility.
Non-invasive imaging of cells that have been labeled non-destructively, such as with nanoemulsions or reporter genes that can be detected by molecular imaging, to monitor their location, viability, cell lineage expansion, response to drugs, movement, or other behaviors in vivo.
Devices or objects in various imaging techniques used to visualize or enhance visualization by simulating conditions encountered in the procedure. Phantoms are used very often in procedures employing or measuring x-irradiation or radioactive material to evaluate performance. Phantoms often have properties similar to human tissue. Water demonstrates absorbing properties similar to normal tissue, hence water-filled phantoms are used to map radiation levels. Phantoms are used also as teaching aids to simulate real conditions with x-ray or ultrasonic machines. (From Iturralde, Dictionary and Handbook of Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Imaging, 1990)
A diagnostic technique that incorporates the measurement of molecular diffusion (such as water or metabolites) for tissue assessment by MRI. The degree of molecular movement can be measured by changes of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) with time, as reflected by tissue microstructure. Diffusion MRI has been used to study BRAIN ISCHEMIA and tumor response to treatment.
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Radiology is the branch of medicine that studies imaging of the body; X-ray (basic, angiography, barium swallows), ultrasound, MRI, CT and PET. These imaging techniques can be used to diagnose, but also to treat a range of conditions, by allowing visuali...