Journal of Nuclear Cardiology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 208–216 | Cite as

Emerging imaging targets for infiltrative cardiomyopathy: Inflammation and fibrosis

  • Frank M. BengelEmail author
  • Tobias L. Ross
Review Article


Molecular imaging in infiltrative cardiomyopathies is increasingly penetrating the clinical arena. Current approaches target the infiltrate directly, or its metabolic, physiologic, or functional consequences. Inflammation may not just play a role as the infiltrative mechanism itself. It is also thought to play a key role in the development and progression of heart failure in general, because it promotes the development of tissue fibrosis. The cascade leading from tissue damage to inflammation and further to fibrosis and loss of function has emerged as a therapeutic target. This review focuses (1) on novel tracers of inflammation, which are on the brink of clinical applicability and may be more specific than the gross metabolic marker F-18 deoxyglucose; and (2) on novel biologic imaging targets in fibrosis, which may be exploited for interrogation of the crosstalk between inflammation and loss of contractile function. Ultimately, the success of any novel molecular imaging assay will depend on whether it can be used for successful guidance of novel, targeted therapies aiming at tissue regeneration.


Molecular imaging infiltrative cardiomyopathy inflammation fibrosis 



This work was supported by the cluster of excellence “Rebirth (From Regenerative Biology to Reconstructive Therapy)” and the clinical research group KFO 311 “Pre-Terminal Heart and Lung Failure: Unloading and Repair” of the Hannover Medical School, both funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


Frank M. Bengel and Tobias L. Ross do not have any conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© American Society of Nuclear Cardiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Klinik für Nuklearmedizin, Medizinische Hochschule HannoverHannoverGermany

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