Imaging of angiogenesis in cardiology

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2007 Jun;34 Suppl 1:S9-19. doi: 10.1007/s00259-007-0436-z.


In the past decade, there have been major improvements in our understanding of angiogenesis at the genetic, molecular and cellular levels. Concentrated efforts in this area have led to new therapeutic approaches to ischaemic heart disease using angiogenic factors, gene therapy and progenitor cells. Despite very promising experimental results in animal studies, large clinical trials have failed to confirm the results in patients with coronary artery disease. Important questions such as selection of growth factors and donor cells, as well as the timing, dose and route of administration, have been raised and need to be answered. Molecular imaging approaches which may provide specific markers of the angiogenic process (e.g. integrin expression in endothelial cells) have been introduced and are expected to address some of these questions. Although few clinical imaging results are currently available, animal studies suggest the potential role of molecular imaging for characterisation of the angiogenetic process in vivo and for the monitoring of therapeutic effects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiology / methods*
  • Cardiology / trends
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Cardiovascular / trends
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / complications
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnosis*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / etiology