Contrast media & molecular imaging

Hybrid SPECT/cardiac-gated first-pass perfusion CT: locating transplanted cells relative to infarcted myocardial targets.

PMID 22344883


A challenge with cardiac cell therapy is determining the location of cells relative to infarct tissue. As cells are viable following ¹¹¹In-labeling, and first-pass CT imaging can identify regions of myocardial infarction, we evaluated the feasibility of a SPECT/CT system to localize cells relative to infarcted myocardium in a canine model. Ten canines underwent surgical ligation of the left-anterior-descending artery and endothelial progenitor cells labeled with ¹¹¹In-tropolone were transplanted endocardially or epicardially. SPECT/CT was performed on day of transplantation, 4 and 10 days post-transplantation. For each imaging session first-pass perfusion CT was performed to delineate the area of reduced perfusion. SPECT and first-pass CT images were fused and evaluated. Contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) were calculated for ¹¹¹In-SPECT images to evaluate cell detection. The zone of reduced perfusion was well delineated on first-pass perfusion CT in all canines. The ¹¹¹In signal was visualized within this zone in all cases. Analysis of the CNRs suggests that cells may be followed for 11 effective half-lives using the images from first-pass perfusion CT to provide the anatomic landmarks. In the setting of an acute myocardial infarction SPECT/[first-pass perfusion CT] is an effective hybrid platform for the localization of cells in relation to the area of reduced blood flow.