Positron emission tomography (PET) is a medical imaging modality used to assess the distribution of different molecules in the body. The role of PET in defining cardiovascular inflammation and infection is flourishing. Currently, PET relies mainly on the molecule FDG, a sugar analogue. Cells involved in inflammation and infection have increased sugar metabolism, which translates into increased accumulation of FDG on PET images. However, FDG-PET has the disadvantage of being non-specific in cardiovascular imaging. Indeed, since the heart uses sugar as a source of energy, there is physiological accumulation of FDG in the heart muscle, limiting the ability to detect abnormal cells.
In order to improve the diagnostic performance of PET, special preparations are frequently used, but they produce mixed results, require laborious preparation, and rely on patient compliance. Knowing that the use of PET is likely to progress in these cardiovascular diseases, it is imperative to develop optimal molecules that will allow for a rapid, efficient and accurate diagnosis. 68-Gallium is a new PET molecule that accumulates in infection and inflammation but has the advantage of not accumulating in normal heart muscle.
The goal of this program is to develop a 68-Gallium PET protocol and evaluate its diagnostic performance. Ultimately, this molecule could improve the diagnostic performance of PET and thereby improve the management and outcome of patients afflicted with these diseases.