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Multiparametric PET and MRI of myocardial damage after myocardial infarction: correlation of integrin αvβ3 expression and myocardial blood flow.

  • Makowski, Marcus R1, 2
  • Rischpler, Christoph3, 4
  • Ebersberger, Ullrich5
  • Keithahn, Alexandra1
  • Kasel, Markus5
  • Hoffmann, Ellen5
  • Rassaf, Tienush6
  • Kessler, Horst7
  • Wester, Hans-Jürgen8
  • Nekolla, Stephan G1
  • Schwaiger, Markus1
  • Beer, Ambros J1, 9
  • 1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 2 Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany. [email protected] , (Germany)
  • 4 Clinic for Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstrasse 55, 45147, Essen, Germany. [email protected] , (Germany)
  • 5 Department of Cardiology, Klinikum Bogenhausen, Munich, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 6 Department of Cardiology and Vascular Medicine, West German Heart and Vascular Center, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 7 Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Study and Center of Integrated Protein Science, Technical University of Munich, Garching, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 8 Pharmaceutical Radiochemistry, Technical University of Munich, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 9 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Ulm, Ulm, Germany. , (Germany)
Published Article
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s00259-020-05034-z
PMID: 32970218


Increased angiogenesis after myocardial infarction is considered an important favorable prognostic parameter. The αvβ3 integrin is a key mediator of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions and an important molecular target for imaging of neovasculature and repair processes after MI. Thus, imaging of αvβ3 expression might provide a novel biomarker for assessment of myocardial angiogenesis as a prognostic marker of left ventricular remodeling after MI. Currently, there is limited data available regarding the association of myocardial blood flow and αvβ3 integrin expression after myocardial infarction in humans. Twelve patients were examined 31 ± 14 days after MI with PET/CT using [18F]Galacto-RGD and [13N]NH3 and with cardiac MRI including late enhancement on the same day. Normal myocardium (remote) and areas of infarction (lesion) were identified on the [18F]Galacto-RGD PET/CT images by correlation with [13N]NH3 PET and cardiac MRI. Lesion/liver-, lesion/blood-, and lesion/remote ratios were calculated. Blood flow and [18F]Galacto-RGD uptake were quantified and correlated for each myocardial segment (AHA 17-segment model). In 5 patients, increased [18F]Galacto-RGD uptake was notable within or adjacent to the infarction areas with a lesion/remote ratio of 46% (26-83%; lesion/blood 1.15 ± 0.06; lesion/liver 0.61 ± 0.18). [18F]Galacto-RGD uptake correlated significantly with infarct size (R = 0.73; p = 0.016). Moreover, it correlated significantly with restricted blood flow for all myocardial segments (R = - 0.39; p < 0.0001) and even stronger in severely hypoperfused areas (R = - 0.75; p < 0.0001). [18F]Galacto-RGD PET/CT allows the visualization and quantification of myocardial αvβ3 expression as a key player in angiogenesis in a subset of patients after MI. αvβ3 expression was more pronounced in patients with larger infarcts and was generally more intense but not restricted to areas with more impaired blood flow, proving that tracer uptake was largely independent of unspecific perfusion effects. Based on these promising results, larger prospective studies are warranted to evaluate the potential of αvβ3 imaging for assessment of myocardial angiogenesis and prediction of ventricular remodeling.

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