Highly sensitive detection of minimal cardiac ischemia using positron emission tomography imaging of activated platelets

Melanie Ziegler, Karen Alt, Brett M. Paterson, Peter Kanellakis, Alex Bobik, Paul S. Donnelly, Christoph E. Hagemeyer, Karlheinz Peter

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18 Citations (Scopus)


A reliable method for the diagnosis of minimal cardiac ischemia would meet a strong demand for the sensitive diagnosis of coronary artery disease in cardiac stress testing and risk stratification in patients with chest pain but unremarkable ECGs and biomarkers. We hypothesized that platelets accumulate early on in ischemic myocardium and a newly developed technology of non-invasive molecular PET imaging of activated platelets can thus detect minimal degrees of myocardial ischemia. To induce different degrees of minimal cardiac ischemia, the left anterior descending artery (LAD) was ligated for 10, 20 or 60 min. Mice were injected with a newly generated scFv anti-GPIIb/IIIa - 64 CuMeCOSar radiotracer, composed of a single-chain antibody that only binds to activated integrin GPIIb/IIIa (α IIb β III) and thus to activated platelets, and a sarcophagine cage MeCOSar complexing the long half-life PET tracer copper-64. A single PET/CT scan was performed. Evans Blue/TTC staining to detect necrosis as well as classical serological biomarkers like Troponin I and heart-type fatty acid-binding protein (H-FABP) were negative, whereas PET imaging of activated platelets was able to detect small degrees of ischemia. Taken together, molecular PET imaging of activated platelets represents a unique and highly sensitive method to detect minimal cardiac ischemia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38161
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2016

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