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Molecular MRI of Inflammation in Atherosclerosis

Authors
Journal
Current Cardiovascular Imaging Reports
1941-9066
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Volume
5
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s12410-011-9114-4
Keywords
  • Cardiac Molecular Imaging (F Jaffer
  • Section Editor)
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine

Abstract

Inflammatory activity in atherosclerotic plaque is a risk factor for plaque rupture and atherothrombosis and may direct interventional therapy. Inflammatory activity can be evaluated at the (sub)cellular level using in vivo molecular MRI. This paper reviews recent progress in contrast-enhanced molecular MRI to visualize atherosclerotic plaque inflammation. Various MRI contrast agents, among others ultra-small particles of iron oxide, low-molecular-weight Gd-chelates, micelles, liposomes, and perfluorocarbon emulsions, have been used for in vivo visualization of various inflammation-related targets, such as macrophages, oxidized LDL, endothelial cell expression, plaque neovasculature, MMPs, apoptosis, and activated platelets/thrombus. An enzyme-activatable magnetic resonance contrast agent has been developed to study myeloperoxidase activity in inflamed plaques. Agents creating contrast based on the chemical exchange saturation transfer mechanism were used for thrombus imaging. Transfer of these molecular MRI techniques to the clinic will critically depend on the safety profiles of these newly developed magnetic resonance contrast agents.

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