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CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR ADVANCES IN THE STUDY OF INFLAMMATION
Boschi A., Cazzola E., Duatti A., Uccelli L.
Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
Scintigraphic imaging of inflammation is a powerful tool for in vivo visualization of biological processes underlying the inflammatory disease. A number of radiopharmaceuticals are currently available for monitoring inflammation. These agents accumulate in the inflammatory lesion because of the locally changed physiological and biochemical conditions. They are able, therefore, to provide information on physiochemical alterations involved in the inflammatory response at a molecular level. Moreover, the recent introduction of high-resolution scanners for imaging radiotracer distributions in small animals offers an unprecedented opportunity to study inflammation in integrated living systems without the need to use isolated tissues. This review presents a short description of some of the most common radiopharmaceuticals and of the potential role of nuclear imaging techniques in the study of inflammation.