, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 846-853
Date: 11 Jun 2014

Dose-Dependent Uptake of 3′-deoxy-3′-[18 F]Fluorothymidine by the Bowel after Total-Body Irradiation

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The aim of this study is to non-invasively assess early, irradiation-induced normal tissue alterations via metabolic imaging with 3′-deoxy-3′-[18 F]fluorothymidine ([18 F]FLT).


Twenty-nine male C57BL/6 mice were investigated by [18 F]FLT positron emission tomography for 7 days after total body irradiation (1, 4, and 8 Gy) versus ‘sham’ irradiation (0 Gy). Target/background ratios were determined. The imaging results were validated by histology and immunohistochemistry (Thymidine kinase 1, Ki-67).


[18 F]FLT demonstrated a dose-dependent intestinal accumulation post irradiation. Mean target/background ratio (±standard error) 0 Gy: 1.4 (0.2), 1 Gy: 1.7 (0.1), 4 Gy: 3.1 (0.3), 8 Gy: 4.2 (0.6). Receiver operating characteristic analysis (area under the curve, p value): 0 vs. 1 Gy: 0.81, 0.049; 0 vs. 4 Gy: 1.0, 0.0016; and 0 vs. 8 Gy: 1.0, 0.0020. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the results.


[18 F]FLT seems to provide dose-dependent information on radiation-induced proliferation in the bowel. This opens the perspective for monitoring therapy-related side-effects as well as assessing, e.g., radiation accident victims.