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Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Aug;135(2):182-99. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2012.05.006. Epub 2012 May 22.

Imaging inflammation: molecular strategies to visualize key components of the inflammatory cascade, from initiation to resolution.

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MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.


Dysregulation of inflammation is central to the pathogenesis of innumerable human diseases. Understanding and tracking the critical events in inflammation are crucial for disease monitoring and pharmacological drug discovery and development. Recent progress in molecular imaging has provided novel insights into spatial associations, molecular events and temporal sequelae in the inflammatory process. While remaining a burgeoning field in pre-clinical research, increasing application in man affords researchers the opportunity to study disease pathogenesis in humans in situ thereby revolutionizing conventional understanding of pathophysiology and potential therapeutic targets. This review provides a description of commonly used molecular imaging modalities, including optical, radionuclide and magnetic resonance imaging, and details key advances and translational opportunities in imaging inflammation from initiation to resolution.

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