Cardiac Stem Cell Imaging by SPECT and PET
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- Katsikis, A. & Koutelou, M. Curr Cardiovasc Imaging Rep (2014) 7: 9265. doi:10.1007/s12410-014-9265-1
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After the initial enthusiasm of the preclinical studies of stem cell therapy (SCT) for cardiac diseases a rather rapid translation into clinical trials was accompanied by inconsistent results and at best modest benefit. This has lead to a reverse translation form bedside to bench in order to fully elucidate the fate and mechanism of action of the transplanted cells and find methods to boost their acute engraftment, long term survival and functional effects. Advanced imaging techniques are the only way to achieve this goal in humans. Among them radionuclide imaging is the most mature platform to provide quantitative information on short and long term bio-distribution of the transplanted cells in combination with structural and functional changes of the host organ in clinical practice for the short term future. In this paper we review the contribution of radionuclide imaging in the so far accumulated knowledge regarding SCT for heart diseases, its future potential and challenges.