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Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2012 May-Jun;4(3):329-43. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1163. Epub 2012 Feb 21.

19F magnetic resonance imaging of endogenous macrophages in inflammation.

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Institut für Molekulare Kardiologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.


In this article, we review the use of (19) F MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) for in vivo tracking of monocytes and macrophages in the course of tissue inflammation. Emulsified perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are preferentially phagocytized by monocytes/macrophages and are readily detected by (19) F MRI. Because of the lack of any (19) F background in the body, observed signals are robust and exhibit an excellent degree of specificity. As a consequence of progressive infiltration of the labeled immunocompetent cells into inflamed areas, foci of inflammation can be localized as hot spots by simultaneous acquisition of morphologically matched proton ((1) H) and fluorine ((19) F) MRI. The identification of inflammation by (19) F MRI--at a time when the inflammatory cascade is initiated--opens the possibility for an early detection and more timely therapeutic intervention. Since signal intensity in the (19) F images reflects the severity of inflammation, this approach is also suitable to monitor the efficacy of pharmaceutical treatment. Because PFCs are biochemically inert and the fluorine nucleus exhibits high magnetic resonance (MR) sensitivity, (19) F MRI may be applicable for clinical inflammation imaging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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