PET imaging of inflammation biomarkers

Theranostics. 2013 Jun 24;3(7):448-66. doi: 10.7150/thno.6592. Print 2013.


Inflammation plays a significant role in many disease processes. Development in molecular imaging in recent years provides new insight into the diagnosis and treatment evaluation of various inflammatory diseases and diseases involving inflammatory process. Positron emission tomography using (18)F-FDG has been successfully applied in clinical oncology and neurology and in the inflammation realm. In addition to glucose metabolism, a variety of targets for inflammation imaging are being discovered and utilized, some of which are considered superior to FDG for imaging inflammation. This review summarizes the potential inflammation imaging targets and corresponding PET tracers, and the applications of PET in major inflammatory diseases and tumor associated inflammation. Also, the current attempt in differentiating inflammation from tumor using PET is also discussed.

Keywords: Positron emission tomography; biomarker.; inflammation; molecular imaging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / chemistry
  • Diagnostic Imaging / instrumentation
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / diagnosis
  • Inflammation / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / instrumentation
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*


  • Biomarkers