Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of monitoring the autologous mononuclear bone marrow (ABMMN) cells implanted into the brain after acute ischemic stroke by the technique of labeling with Tc-99m-HMPAO.
Case report: A 37-year-old man presented with aphasia, right-side hypoesthesia, and right homonymous hemianopsia after an acute ischemic stroke of the left middle cerebral artery. He was included in an autologous bone marrow mononuclear cell-based therapy research protocol about the safety of intra-arterial autologous bone marrow mononuclear cell transplantation for acute ischemic stroke. Nine days after the stroke he received 3.0 x 10(7) ABMMN cells delivered into the left cerebral middle artery via a balloon catheter. Approximately 1% of these cells were labeled with 150 MBq (4 mCi) Tc-99m by incubation with hexamethylpropylene amine oxime (HMPAO).
Results: Brain perfusion images with Tc-99m ECD demonstrated hypoperfusion in the left temporal and parietal regions. The perfusion brain images were compared with tomographic views of the brain obtained 8 hours after ABMMN-labeled cell delivery, revealing intense accumulation of the ABMMN-labeled cells in the ipsilateral hemisphere. A whole-body scan was done and showed left brain, liver, and spleen uptake.
Conclusions: Our results showed that Tc-99m HMPAO can be used to label ABMMN cells for in vivo cell visualization, and that brain SPECT imaging with labeled ABMMN cells is a feasible noninvasive method for studying the fate of transplanted cells in vivo. Additionally, our findings demonstrate the localization of these intra-arterially injected cells.