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Cardiac sympathetic neuronal imaging using PET

Riikka Lautamäki, Dnyanesh Tipre, Frank M Bengel
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2007, 34 Suppl 1: S74-85
17479262

INTRODUCTION: Balance of the autonomic nervous system is essential for adequate cardiac performance, and alterations seem to play a key role in the development and progression of various cardiac diseases.

PET AS AN IMAGING TOOL: PET imaging of the cardiac autonomic nervous system has advanced extensively in recent years, and multiple pre- and postsynaptic tracers have been introduced. The high spatial and temporal resolution of PET enables noninvasive quantification of neurophysiologic processes at the tissue level. Ligands for catecholamine receptors, along with radiolabeled catecholamines and catecholamine analogs, have been applied to determine involvement of sympathetic dysinnervation at different stages of heart diseases such as ischemia, heart failure, and arrhythmia.

REVIEW: This review summarizes the recent findings in neurocardiological PET imaging. Experimental studies with several radioligands and clinical findings in cardiac dysautonomias are discussed.

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