Purpose of review: To examine the use of positron emission tomography (PET) for imaging post-infarct myocardial inflammation and repair.
Recent findings: Dysregulated immune responses after myocardial infarction are associated with adverse cardiac remodelling and an increased likelihood of ischaemic heart failure. PET imaging utilising novel tracers can be applied to visualise different components of the post-infarction inflammatory and repair processes. This approach could offer unique pathophysiological insights that could prove useful for the identification and risk-stratification of individuals who would ultimately benefit most from emerging immune-modulating therapies. PET imaging could also bridge the clinical translational gap as a surrogate measure of drug efficacy in early-stage clinical trials in patients with myocardial infarction. The use of hybrid PET/MR imaging, in particular, offers the additional advantage of simultaneous in vivo molecular imaging and detailed assessment of myocardial function, viability and tissue characterisation. Further research is needed to realise the true clinical translational value of PET imaging after myocardial infarction.
Keywords: Heart failure; Inflammation; Molecular imaging; Myocardial infarction; Non-invasive imaging; PET.