An [18F]-Positron-Emitting, Fluorescent, Cerebrospinal Fluid Probe for Imaging Damage to the Brain and Spine

Theranostics. 2017 Jun 15;7(9):2377-2391. doi: 10.7150/thno.19408. eCollection 2017.


Fluorescein is modified to bear 18F so that it can act as both a positron emitter, and a fluorophore, allowing detection by positron emission tomography (PET), scintillation, and fluorescent imaging (FL). [18F]-2 is injected into the intrathecal space of rats and used to observe the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that bathes the brain and spine. Injury in three different applications is visualized with [18F]-2: 1) detection of a 0.7 mm paranasal-sinus CSF leak (CSFL); 2) detection of 0.5 mm puncture damage to the thoracic spine (acute spinal cord injury); and 3) detection of intracerebral hemorrhage/edema because of traumatic brain injury. In all models, the location of injury is visualized with [18F]-2 at high resolution. [18F]-2 PET imaging may be a superior alternative to current clinical contrast myelography and 131I, 111In or 99mTc radionuclide cisternography. Like fluorescein, [18F]-2 may also have other uses in diagnostic or fluorescence guided medicine.

Keywords: Positron emission tomography; imaging; myelography.; optical imaging; radionuclide cisternography.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / chemistry*
  • Fluorescein / administration & dosage*
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes / administration & dosage*
  • Injections, Spinal
  • Optical Imaging / methods*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Rats
  • Spinal Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Injuries / pathology


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Fluorine-18
  • Fluorescein