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Nuclear Medicine and Biology
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When pathologically externalized, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) is a potential surrogate marker for detecting tissue injuries. 99mTc-labeled duramycin is a peptide-based imaging agent that binds PE with high affinity and specificity. The goal of the current study was to investigate the clearance kinetics of 99mTc-labeled duramycin in a large animal model (normal pigs) and to assess its uptake in the heart using a pig model of myocardial ischemia–reperfusion injury.
The clearance and distribution of intravenously injected 99mTc-duramycin were characterized in sham-operated animals (n = 5). In a closed chest model of myocardial ischemia, coronary occlusion was induced by balloon angioplasty (n = 9). 99mTc-duramycin (10–15 mCi) was injected intravenously at 1 hour after reperfusion. SPECT/CT was acquired at 1 and 3 hours after injection. Cardiac tissues were analyzed for changes associated with acute cellular injuries. Autoradiography and gamma counting were used to determine radioactivity uptake. For the remaining animals, 99mTc-tetrafosamin scan was performed on the second day to identify the infarct site.
Intravenously injected 99mTc-duramycin cleared from circulation predominantly via the renal/urinary tract with an α-phase half-life of 3.6 ± 0.3 minutes and β-phase half-life of 179.9 ± 64.7 minutes. In control animals, the ratios between normal heart and lung were 1.76 ± 0.21, 1.66 ± 0.22, 1.50 ± 0.20 and 1.75 ± 0.31 at 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 hours post-injection, respectively. The ratios between normal heart and liver were 0.88 ± 0.13, 0.80 ± 0.13, 0.82 ± 0.19 and 0.88 ± 0.14. In vivo visualization of focal radioactivity uptake in the ischemic heart was attainable as early as 30 min post-injection. The in vivo ischemic-to-normal uptake ratios were 3.57 ± 0.74 and 3.69 ± 0.91 at 1 and 3 hours post-injection, respectively. Ischemic-to-lung ratios were 4.89 ± 0.85 and 4.93 ± 0.57; and ischemic-to-liver ratios were 2.05 ± 0.30 to 3.23 ± 0.78. The size of 99mTc-duramycin positive myocardium was qualitatively larger than the infarct size delineated by the perfusion defect in 99mTc-tetrafosmin uptake. This was consistent with findings from tissue analysis and autoradiography.
99mTc-duramycin was demonstrated, in a large animal model, to have suitable clearance and biodistribution profiles for imaging. The agent has an avid target uptake and a fast background clearance. It is appropriate for imaging myocardial injury induced by ischemia/reperfusion.