Cardiovascular molecular imaging: new methodological strategies

Curr Pharm Des. 2013;19(13):2439-46. doi: 10.2174/1381612811319130012.


Significant technical advances in small animal molecular imaging techniques and in imaging probes with high specificity for various molecular targets have been produced in the last ten years. Notwithstanding, the clinical applicability of molecular imaging proceeds slowly. In animal experiments, multimodality molecular imaging techniques based on hybrid scanners are increasing, providing more insight into path physiologic phenomena associated with cardiovascular disease. In parallel, we assisted in the development of a new generation of multi-imaging probes, such as PET/MRI probes, particularly effective in hybrid scanners. More recently, in order to gain in inherently low sensitivity of MRI, hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopy using hyperpolarized (13)C was proposed. Preliminary results obtained in experimental animal studies seem to confirm the potentialities of hyperpolarized (13)C magnetic resonance to monitor myocardial energetics. In this review the preclinical cardiovascular applications and the potential for clinical translation are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular System*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*