Assessment of cardiac sympathetic nerve integrity with positron emission tomography

Nucl Med Biol. 2001 Jul;28(5):541-59. doi: 10.1016/s0969-8051(01)00210-4.


The autonomic nervous system plays a critical role in the regulation of cardiac function. Abnormalities of cardiac innervation have been implicated in the pathophysiology of many heart diseases, including sudden cardiac death and congestive heart failure. In an effort to provide clinicians with the ability to regionally map cardiac innervation, several radiotracers for imaging cardiac sympathetic neurons have been developed. This paper reviews the development of neuronal imaging agents and discusses their emerging role in the noninvasive assessment of cardiac sympathetic innervation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart / innervation*
  • Humans
  • Metaraminol / metabolism
  • Phenylephrine / metabolism
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Phenylephrine
  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine
  • Metaraminol