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Imaging Agents for PET of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Review.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which encompasses ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease, is a chronic inflammatory disorder resulting from an aberrant immune response, though its exact cause is unknown. The current mainstay standard of care for the diagnosis and surveillance of IBD is endoscopy. However, this methodology is invasive and images only superficial tissue structures, revealing very little about the molecular drivers of inflammation. Accordingly, there is an unmet need for noninvasive imaging tools that provide reliable and quantitative visualization of intestinal inflammation with high spatial and molecular specificity. In recent years, several PET agents for imaging IBD have been reported. Such agents allow noninvasive visualization and quantification of dynamic molecular inflammatory processes in vivo. This review focuses on recent advancements in the development of PET tracers for imaging biomarkers of interest in IBD pathogenesis, such as cell-surface molecules that are overexpressed on immune cells and cytokines that perpetuate inflammatory signaling.

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