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10 Jun

Use of Quantitative Biomarkers Derived from Multi-modal Imaging for Characterizing Inflammatory Processes

Current Projects

Use of quantitative imaging biomarkers for characterizing inflammatory processes (including imaging of fibrosis and vulnerable plaque): BRC Inflammation, Infection & Immunity.

Several important life-threatening conditions result from inflammatory processes. Examples are plaque formation with risk of rupture leading to cardiovascular events (stroke, cardiac arrest) or fibrosis which is involved in several disorders that have poor prognosis (pulmonary fibrosis, liver fibrosis, heart failure). Imaging biomarkers are important in assessing disease progression and evaluating potential therapies but it can be challenging to guarantee reliable quantitative parameters. The goal is to use novel PET radiotracers in combination with CT or MRI and to optimize quantitative potential via tracer kinetics, while accounting for inherent motion and partial volume effects that impact on quantitative accuracy. The potential projects rely on close cooperation between clinical and non-clinical scientists, tailoring a range of image analysis techniques for the specific application.

Projects in this area include:

  • quantification of kinetic parameters for tracers that reflect inflammation and repair mechanisms in fibrotic lung; including appropriate motion modeling and attention to heterogeneous nature of tissue formation in diseased lung.
  • extension of tracer techniques to analysis of fibrotic liver; also involves motion modeling but tracer kinetic analysis is complicated by the dual arterial input to the liver
  • evaluating biomarkers that predict plaque rupture in major arteries (carotids and coronary arteries); there are many technical challenges due to size of vessels, potential movement and potentially high levels of adjacent activity.