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Eur J Nucl Med. 2001 Jan;28(1):99-103.

62Cu-PTSM and PET used for the assessment of angiotensin II-induced blood flow changes in patients with colorectal liver metastases.

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Joint Department of Physics, Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Trust, Sutton, Surrey, UK.


The aim of this study was to establish a quantitative positron emission tomography (PET) method for investigating angiotensin II (AII)-induced changes in blood flow distribution in the liver. This was in order to evaluate the role of vascular manipulation applied to locoregional chemotherapy treatment in patients with colorectal liver metastases. The tracer selected was copper-62 (II) pyruvaldehyde bis-(N4-methyl)thiosemicarbazone (62Cu-PTSM), which exhibits high first-pass extraction and tissue retention following intra-arterial administration. The short half-life of the tracer and its availability from a 62Zn/62Cu generator enabled short-interval repeat PET scans on patients in a single imaging session. Distribution of tracer within the liver was imaged in a single view using a PET camera with rotating large-area detectors. By optimisation of the acquisition protocol, it was possible to acquire sufficient data to produce good-quality images and to quantify tracer uptake with an accuracy of <10%. Reproducibility of the imaging method was assessed in a single patient in whom three consecutive 62Cu-PTSM PET scans were obtained, and in whom no vascular manipulation was performed. Sets of scans (before, during and immediately after a 45-min AII infusion) were obtained in nine patients to assess blood flow changes associated with prolonged vascular manipulation. Significant individual responses, varying in both the magnitude and the duration of flow change, were observed in the majority of cases (7/11 lesions; 7/9 patients). These findings illustrate the potential of 62Cu-PTSM and PET for pharmacological studies. The wide range of individual patient responses to AII infusion suggests that PET blood flow assessment would be of value for selecting patients in whom this procedure may be effective.

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