The role of molecular imaging in the evaluation of myocardial and peripheral angiogenesis

Ann Nucl Med. 2015 Apr;29(3):217-23. doi: 10.1007/s12149-015-0961-y. Epub 2015 Mar 8.


Angiogenesis, or the formation of new microvasculature, is a physiological process that may occur in the setting of chronic tissue ischemia and can play an important role in improving tissue perfusion and blood flow following myocardial infarction or in the presence of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Molecular imaging of angiogenesis within the cardiovascular system is a developing field of study. Targeted imaging of angiogenesis has the potential for non-invasive assessment of the underlying molecular signaling events associated with the angiogenic process and, when applied in conjunction with physiological perfusion imaging, may be utilized to predict and evaluate clinical outcomes in the setting of ischemic heart disease or PVD. This review discusses the developing radiotracer-based imaging techniques and technology currently in use that possess potential for clinical translation, with specific focus on PET and SPECT imaging of myocardial and peripheral angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Extremities / diagnostic imaging*
  • Extremities / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Ischemia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnosis
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals