DOI: 10.1007/s00259-017-3828-8Pages: 2302-2309

New horizons in cardiac innervation imaging: introduction of novel 18F-labeled PET tracers

1. University Hospital of Würzburg, Department of Nuclear Medicine

2. Nihon Medi-Physics Co., Ltd., Research Centre

3. University Hospital of Würzburg, Comprehensive Heart Failure Center

4. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, The Russell H Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences

5. National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Department of Biomedical Imaging, Research Institute

Correspondence to:
Takahiro Higuchi
Tel: +49 (931) 201-35455



Cardiac sympathetic nervous activity can be uniquely visualized by non-invasive radionuclide imaging techniques due to the fast growing and widespread application of nuclear cardiology in the last few years. The norepinephrine analogue 123I–meta-iodobenzylguanidine (123I–MIBG) is a single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) tracer for the clinical implementation of sympathetic nervous imaging for both diagnosis and prognosis of heart failure. Meanwhile, positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has become increasingly attractive because of its higher spatial and temporal resolution compared to SPECT, which allows regional functional and dynamic kinetic analysis. Nevertheless, wider use of cardiac sympathetic nervous PET imaging is still limited mainly due to the demand of costly on-site cyclotrons, which are required for the production of conventional 11C-labeled (radiological half-life, 20 min) PET tracers. Most recently, more promising 18F-labeled (half-life, 110 min) PET radiopharmaceuticals targeting sympathetic nervous system have been introduced. These tracers optimize PET imaging and, by using delivery networks, cost less to produce. In this article, the latest advances of sympathetic nervous imaging using 18F-labeled radiotracers along with their possible applications are reviewed.

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  • Accepted: Sep 3, 2017
  • Online: Sep 13, 2017

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