Targeted molecular imaging of angiogenesis in PET and SPECT: a review

Yale J Biol Med. 2012 Mar;85(1):75-86. Epub 2012 Mar 29.


Over the past few decades, there have been significant advancements in the imaging techniques of positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission tomography (SPECT). These changes have allowed for the targeted imaging of cellular processes and the development of hybrid imaging systems (e.g., SPECT/CT and PET/CT), which provide both functional and structural images of biological systems. One area that has garnered particular attention is angiogenesis as it relates to ischemic heart disease and limb ischemia. Though the aforementioned techniques have benefits and consequences, they enable scientists and clinicians to identify regions that are vulnerable to or have been exposed to ischemic injury via non-invasive means. This literature review highlights the advancements in molecular imaging techniques and specific probes as they pertain to the process of angiogenesis in cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: CT; PET; SPECT; angiogenesis; hind limb ischemia; molecular imaging; myocardial ischemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*


  • Integrins
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor