Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor imaging with 18F-GP1 positron emission tomography for acute venous thromboembolism: an open-label, non-randomized, first-in-human phase 1 study

J Nucl Med. 2018 Jun 29;60(2):244-249. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.118.212084. Online ahead of print.


18F-GP1 is a derivative of elarofiban with a high affinity to activated platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa (GPIIb/IIIa) and favorable in vivo characteristics for thrombus imaging in preclinical models. We aimed to explore the detection rate of thromboembolic foci with 18F-GP1 positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) in patients with acute venous thromboembolism (VTE), and to evaluate the safety, biodistribution, pharmacokinetics, and metabolism of 18F-GP1. Methods: We studied patients who had signs or symptoms of acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT) of the leg or acute pulmonary embolism (PE) within 14 days prior to 18F-GP1 PET/CT, and had thromboembolic foci confirmed by conventional imaging (n = 10 for DVT and n = 10 for PE). Dynamic whole-body PET/CT images were acquired for up to 140 minutes after injection of 250 MBq of 18F-GP1. Results:18F-GP1 PET/CT was well tolerated without any drug-related adverse events, and showed high initial uptake in spleen, kidney, and blood pool, followed by rapid clearance. The overall image quality was excellent and allowed interpretation in all patients. 18F-GP1 PET/CT identified thromboembolic foci in all 20 patients with either DVT or PE. Vessel-level analysis revealed that 18F-GP1 PET/CT detected 89% (68/76) of vessels with DVT, and 60% (146/245) for PE. Importantly, 18F-GP1 PET/CT showed increased uptake in 32 vessels that were not detected by conventional imaging, of which 25 were located in distal veins of the lower extremity in 12 patients. A positive correlation was found between 18F-GP1 uptake and P-selectin-positive circulating platelets (r = 0.656, P = 0.002). Conclusion:18F-GP1 is a promising PET tracer for imaging acute VTE in patients. 18F-GP1 PET/CT may identify thrombi in distal veins of the leg, where conventional imaging has limitations.

Keywords: 18F-GP1; PET; Respiratory; Vascular; deep vein thrombosis; platelet activation; positron emission tomography; pulmonary embolism.