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BEST IN PHYSICS (IMAGING) - A Novel Catheter-Based Radionuclide Imaging System to Characterize Atherosclerotic Plaque

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R Zaman

R Zaman*, H Kosuge , C Carpenter , G Pratx , C Sun , M McConnell , L Xing , Stanford Univ School of Medicine, Stanford, CA


TU-F-12A-6 Tuesday 4:30PM - 6:00PM Room: 12A

Purpose:Atherosclerosis underlies coronary artery diseases, the leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide. In this study, we developed a novel catheter-based radionuclide imaging (CRI) system to image 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG), a radionuclide, a marker of vascular inflammation, in murine carotid arteries and characterized the system for spatial resolution from multiple scintillating materials.

Methods:The catheter system includes 35 mm and 8 mm fixed focal length lenses, which are subsequently connected to a CMOS camera and fiber holder. The distal ferrule of an image bundle is terminated with a wide-angle lens. The novelty of this system is a scintillating balloon with a crystal tip in the front of the wide angle lens to image light from the decay of 18F-FDG emission signal. The scintillating balloon is fabricated from 1mL of silicone RTV catalyst mixed with 1 mL base and 50 mg/mL calcium fluoride doped with Europium (CaF2:Eu). To identify the optimal scintillating materials with respect to resolution, we calculated modulation transfer function (MTF) of Yttrium Aluminum Garnet doped with Cerium (YAG:Ce), anthracene, and CaF2:Eu phosphors using a thin line optical phantom (Fig. 1a-1b). Macrophage-rich FVB murine atherosclerotic carotid plaque model (n = 4) was used in ex vivo experiments. Confirmatory imaging was also performed by an external optical imaging system (IVIS-200).

Results:Analysis of the different phosphors (Fig 1b) showed that CaF2:Eu enabled the best resolution of 1.2μm. The CRI system visualized 18F-FDG in atherosclerotic plaques (Fig. 1d). The ligated left carotid (LR) artery exhibited 4x higher 18F-FDG signal intensity compared to the non-ligated right carotid (negative control) artery (1.65x10^2 ±4.07x10^1 vs. 4.44x10^1±2.17x10^0, A.U., p = 0.005) and confirmed with IVIS-200 (Fig. 1d).

Conclusion:This CRI system enables high-resolution and sensitive detection of 18F-FDG uptake by murine atherosclerotic plaques.

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