Imaging Inflammation with Positron Emission Tomography

The impact of inflammation on the outcome of many medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, infections, cancer, and autoimmune diseases has been widely acknowledged. However, in contrast to neurological, oncologic, and cardiovascular disorders, imaging plays a minor role in research and management of inflammation. Imaging can provide insights into individual and temporospatial biology and grade of inflammation which can be of diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic value. There is therefore an urgent need to evaluate and understand current approaches and potential applications for imaging of inflammation. This review discusses radiotracers for positron emission tomography (PET) that have been used to image inflammation in cardiovascular diseases and other inflammatory conditions with a special emphasis on radiotracers that have already been successfully applied in clinical settings.


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