Theranostics 2013; 3(7):448-466. doi:10.7150/thno.6592


PET Imaging of Inflammation Biomarkers

Chenxi Wu1,2, Fang Li1,✉, Gang Niu2, Xiaoyuan Chen2,✉

1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH), Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College (CAMS & PUMC), Beijing, China.
2. Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, USA.

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Wu C, Li F, Niu G, Chen X. PET Imaging of Inflammation Biomarkers. Theranostics 2013; 3(7):448-466. doi:10.7150/thno.6592. Available from

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Inflammation plays a significant role in many disease processes. Development in molecular imaging in recent years provides new insight into the diagnosis and treatment evaluation of various inflammatory diseases and diseases involving inflammatory process. Positron emission tomography using 18F-FDG has been successfully applied in clinical oncology and neurology and in the inflammation realm. In addition to glucose metabolism, a variety of targets for inflammation imaging are being discovered and utilized, some of which are considered superior to FDG for imaging inflammation. This review summarizes the potential inflammation imaging targets and corresponding PET tracers, and the applications of PET in major inflammatory diseases and tumor associated inflammation. Also, the current attempt in differentiating inflammation from tumor using PET is also discussed.

Keywords: Positron emission tomography, inflammation, molecular imaging, biomarker.