New approaches for imaging in gene therapy

Eur J Radiol. 2000 Jun;34(3):156-65. doi: 10.1016/s0720-048x(00)00196-0.


Gene therapy is increasingly used experimentally and clinically to replace defective genes and/or impart new functions to cells and tissues. With the recent advances in vector design, improvements in transgene and prodrug activation strategies, gene therapy has been applied to a wide variety of diseases, tissues and organ systems. It is now clear that our specialty will play a critical role in gene therapy research and its clinical applications. Three aspects of gene therapy are of particular interest to imaging. The first is in delivering genes and vector products by minimally invasive interventional techniques. The second is in quantitating gene and DNA deliveries, for example, by nuclear imaging. Finally, imaging can be used to monitor the levels of transgene expression in vivo. A variety of imaging techniques including PET imaging, nuclear imaging, MR imaging and optical imaging can potentially be used to achieve the latter. This brief introductory overview is intended to summarize current strategies and illustrate the role that radiology will play in this field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytosine / metabolism
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / genetics
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mice
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Technetium
  • Thymidine Kinase / genetics
  • Thymidine Kinase / metabolism


  • Technetium
  • Cytosine
  • Thymidine Kinase