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J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2010 Nov 3;12:62. doi: 10.1186/1532-429X-12-62.

Quantitative cardiovascular magnetic resonance for molecular imaging.

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  • 1Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Department of Radiology, 3333 Burnet Ave,, ML 5033, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.


Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) molecular imaging aims to identify and map the expression of important biomarkers on a cellular scale utilizing contrast agents that are specifically targeted to the biochemical signatures of disease and are capable of generating sufficient image contrast. In some cases, the contrast agents may be designed to carry a drug payload or to be sensitive to important physiological factors, such as pH, temperature or oxygenation. In this review, examples will be presented that utilize a number of different molecular imaging quantification techniques, including measuring signal changes, calculating the area of contrast enhancement, mapping relaxation time changes or direct detection of contrast agents through multi-nuclear imaging or spectroscopy. The clinical application of CMR molecular imaging could offer far reaching benefits to patient populations, including early detection of therapeutic response, localizing ruptured atherosclerotic plaques, stratifying patients based on biochemical disease markers, tissue-specific drug delivery, confirmation and quantification of end-organ drug uptake, and noninvasive monitoring of disease recurrence. Eventually, such agents may play a leading role in reducing the human burden of cardiovascular disease, by providing early diagnosis, noninvasive monitoring and effective therapy with reduced side effects.

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