Detection of experimental atherosclerosis with indium-111 radiolabelled hematoporphyrin derivative

R. T. Palac, L. L. Gray, F. E. Turner, P. H. Brown, M. R. Malinow, H. Demots

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18 Scopus citations


It has been observed that atherosclerotic lesions (AL) concentrate certain porphyrins. We evaluated the usefulness of111In-labelled Photofrin II (PFII), a porphyrin derived from haematoporphyrin derivative, for detection of experimental AL in cholesterol fed rabbits. Three groups of rabbits were studied: non-atherosclerotic (h=3), 6 and 12 week cholesterol fed (n=4, 3).111In-PFII was injected intravenously and gamma camera images were obtained at 24 and 48 h. At 48 h, explanted aortas were also imaged. Aortic arch (AA) to background (BKG) count ratios were calculated from images of the whole body and explanted aortas. AA/BKG ratios were significantly higher in the 12 week cholesterol fed rabbits (3.9±0.72 @ 24 h) and (4.0±0.67 @ 48 h) than in the non-atherosclerotic rabbits (2.2±0.07 @ 24 h) and (2.3±0.18 @ 48 h) (p <0.05). The AA/BKG ratio for the explanted aortas showed similar results. Additionally, in two of three 12 week cholesterol fed rabbits, focal count deposition was visible on the whole animal images at the site of aortic arch atherosclerosis. We conclude that111In-PFII concentrates in AL as early as 24 h after injection and has the potential to be used as an imaging agent for experimental atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-850
Number of pages10
JournalNuclear Medicine Communications
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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