Nuclear imaging of atheromata must distinguish lesions from both blood pool and normal arterial tissue. We have examined spatial and temporal variations of indium-111-labeled human low density lipoprotein (LDL) accumulation in rabbit aortas. LDL-derived In-111 activity was time-independent in lesion-resistant regions of aortas from normal and hypercholesterolemic animals (mean 2.9 × 10-6 percent injected activity per milligram tissue [%IA/mg]) and in lesion-prone regions of normal aortas (mean 7.1 × 10-6 %IA/mg). In contrast, activity in sudanophilic lesions of hypercholesterolemic rabbit aortas reached a peak of 31 × 10-6 %IA/mg at 92 hours postinjection. The mean ratio between activity in lesions versus lesion-resistant regions described a broad convex curve with minima of 4:1 at 14 hours and 136 hours and a peak of 14:1 measured at 72 hours postinjection. The mean ratio between In-111 in lesions and blood followed a sigmoid curve, rising exponentially from 1:25 at 14 hours to 1:3 by 72 hours postinjection. We conclude that optimal signal-to-noise ratios for monitoring atheroma-associated LDL-derived radioactivity occur late, not before about 3 days postinjection. Therefore, LDL labeled with In-111 or even longer-lived radionuclides holds the greatest promise for effective clinical nuclear imaging of atherosclerosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine