Optical techniques for the molecular imaging of angiogenesis

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2010 Aug;37 Suppl 1:S127-37. doi: 10.1007/s00259-010-1514-1.


The process of angiogenesis, an essential hallmark for tumour development as well as for several inflammatory diseases and physiological phenomena, is of growing interest for diagnosis and therapy in oncology. In the context of biochemical characterisation of key molecules involved in angiogenesis, several targets for imaging and therapy could be identified in the last decade. Optical imaging (OI) relies on the visualisation of near infrared (NIR) light, either its absorption and scattering in tissue (non-enhanced OI) or using fluorescent contrast agents. OI offers excellent signal to noise ratios due to virtually absent background fluorescence in the NIR range and is thus a versatile tool to image specific molecular target structures in vivo. This work intends to provide a survey of the different approaches to imaging of angiogenesis using OI methods in preclinical research as well as first clinical trials. Different imaging modalities as well as various optical contrast agents are briefly discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Contrast Media / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Molecular Imaging / instrumentation
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic* / metabolism
  • Optical Phenomena*
  • Perfusion Imaging


  • Contrast Media