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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2005 December;49(4):325-38


lingua: Inglese

Radiolabeled white blood cells and direct targeting of micro-organisms for infection imaging

Kumar V.

Department of Nuclear Medicine Westmead Hospital and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health Faculty of Medicine, Sydney University, Sydney, Australia


Infection imaging is complicated due to multitude of factors interfering with the design of radiopharmaceuticals. More than 3 decades ago, labeled leukocytes have been introduced for infection imaging and new radiopharmaceuticals have been emerging on regular basis. However, labeled leukocytes by in vivo and in vitro methods are very effective for diagnosing various lesions such as osteomyelitis, cellulitis, diabetic foot, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease and in distinguishing prosthetic infection from loosening of prosthesis. But in vitro labeling method using 111In-oxine, 99mTc-HMPAO or 99mTc-stannous colloid have the inherent limitation of personnel safety risks of infection and cross contamination. To overcome these problems, attempts have been made to directly target leukocytes by in vivo labeling techniques. There are several receptors present on the leukocytes and the granulocytes, which can be targeted with suitable ligands. These will include anti-NCA90-Fab, murine MoAb IgG1 that is cross-reactive to antigen 95 on neutrophils, anti-CD15 antigen and DPC-11870 that targets the leukotriene B4 receptors of granulocytes. In a new approach, 99mTc-labeled ciprofloxacin has been developed to directly target “live bacteria” to detect infection by in vivo method. This approach showed considerable promise in the preliminary studies but clinical trials showed limitations. Analogs of a natural mammalian antimicrobial agents, such as Ubiquicidin were successful in animal studies and have now entered clinical trials. 99mTc-labeled fluconazole (a fungal antibiotic) and labeled Chitinase (123I-ChiB_E144Q), have been developed to detect fungal infection. The ability to distinguish between fungal and bacterial infection is considered important, as patients undergoing chemotherapy are prone to fungal infection. Undoubtedly, the new trends and new radiopharmaceuticals developed for infection and inflammation imaging have contributed towards a better understanding of the underlying processes.

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