Molecular imaging of macrophages in atherosclerosis

Jun Ichiro Koga, Masanori Aikawa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


Activated macrophages play central roles in various stages of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Particularly, the role macrophages play in the onset of acute thrombotic complications including myocardial infarction, a global health burden, has the large clinical impact. It is thus important to identify high-risk patients for these thrombotic complications to improve the prognosis by detecting macrophage- rich, subclinical lesions. In addition, macrophage imaging of vascular lesions in humans would facilitate understanding of the disease mechanisms and also help to monitor the effects of new therapies in the near future. These clinical needs have driven recent efforts on the development of molecular imaging modalities to visualize macrophages. Various imaging agents which are taken up by macrophages (e.g., superparamagnetic iron oxide for magnetic resonance imaging) or target a macrophage- specific biological process (e.g., proteinase activity for optical imaging) have become available. In the field of nuclear medicine, FDG-PET already has been in the stage of clinical trials. This chapter reviews current states and future perspectives of macrophage-targeted molecular imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCardiovascular Imaging
Subtitle of host publicationArterial and Aortic Valve Inflammation and Calcification
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783319092683
ISBN (Print)9783319092676
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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