PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to study molecular imaging of apoptosis and necrosis, two key players in atherosclerosis instability, using a multimodal imaging approach combining single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), and computed tomography (CT). PROCEDURES: Collar-induced carotid atherosclerosis ApoE knockout mice were imaged with 99mTc-AnxAF568 SPECT-CT to study apoptosis and sequentially with PET-CT following 124I-Hypericin (124I-Hyp) injection to visualize necrosis. RESULTS: SPECT depicted increased 99mTc-AnxAF568 uptake in both atherosclerotic carotid arteries, whereas our data suggest that this uptake is not merely apoptosis related. Although PET of 124I-Hyp was hampered by the slow blood clearance in atherosclerotic mice, 124I-Hyp was able to target necrosis in the atherosclerotic plaque. CONCLUSION: Both 99mTc-AnxAF568 and 124I-Hyp uptake are increased in atherosclerotic carotid vasculature compared to control arteries. While apoptosis imaging remains challenging, necrosis imaging can be feasible after improving the biodistribution characteristics of the probe.
De Saint-Hubert, M., Bauwens, M., Deckers, N., Drummen, M., Douma, K., Granton, P., Hendrikx, G., Kusters, D., Bucerius, J., Reutelingsperger, C. P. M., & Mottaghy, F. M. (2014). In Vivo Molecular Imaging of Apoptosisand Necrosis in Atherosclerotic PlaquesUsing MicroSPECT-CT and MicroPET-CT Imaging. Molecular Imaging and Biology, 16(2), 246-254. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11307-013-0677-0