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Eur J Nucl Med. 1994 Apr;21(4):345-7.

Positron emission tomography shows high specific uptake of racemic carbon-11 labelled norepinephrine in the primate heart.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


(-)-Norepinephrine is the predominant neurotransmitter of the sympathetic innervation of the heart. Racemic norepinephrine was labelled with carbon-11 and injected i.v. into Cynomolgus monkeys. Five minutes after injection there was a more than tenfold higher radioactivity in the heart than in adjacent tissue. Pretreatment with the norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor desipramine reduced the uptake by more than 80%. The high specific uptake of racemic [11C]norepinephrine indicates that enantiomerically pure (-)-[11C]norepinephrine has promising potential for detailed mapping of the sympathetic innervation of the human myocardium.

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