Korean J Radiol.  2003 Dec;4(4):201-210. 10.3348/kjr.2003.4.4.201.

Targeted Molecular Imaging

  • 1Department of Radiology and Medicine, Center for Metabolic Imaging, Nuclear Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030 USA. ekim@di.mdacc.tmc.edu


Molecular imaging aims to visualize the cellular and molecular processes occurring in living tissues, and for the imaging of specific molecules in vivo, the development of reporter probes and dedicated imaging equipment is most important. Reporter genes can be used to monitor the delivery and magnitude of therapeutic gene transfer, and the time variation involved. Imaging technologies such as micro-PET, SPECT, MRI and CT, as well as optical imaging systems, are able to non-invasively detect, measure, and report the simultaneous expression of multiple meaningful genes. It is believed that recent advances in reporter probes, imaging technologies and gene transfer strategies will enhance the effectiveness of gene therapy trials.


Mulecular analysis; Radiolgy and radiologists, research; Review

MeSH Terms

Contrast Media
Diagnostic Imaging/*methods
Gene Expression/physiology
Gene Therapy
Genes, Reporter/physiology
Molecular Biology/*methods
Neovascularization, Physiologic/physiology


  • Fig. 1 Selected axial (top), coronal (middle) and sagittal (bottom) CT (left), SPECT (middle) and SPECT/CT (right) images of the abdomen demonstrate focal increased In-111 octreotide receptor uptake (24 hr after injection) in the pancreatic head, with islet cell tumor expressing somatostatin receptor 2 or 5.

  • Fig. 2 Selected axial (top), coronal (middle) and sagittal (bottom) CT (left), SPECT (middle) and SPECT/CT (right) images of the chest reveal focal increased uptake of I-131 sodium iodide (24 hr after oral ingestion) by the metastatic follicular carcinoma present at the base of the left lung.

  • Fig. 3 Planar whole body images of rats bearing breast tumor (T) show an uptake of Tc-99m ethylene dicystein (EC)-endostatin. Note less uptakes after endostatin (right) and paclitaxel (PTXL) treatments.

  • Fig. 4 Planar whole-body images of a breast tumor (arrows) in a rat demonstrate 99mTc-EC-Annexin V uptake after paclitaxel treatment.


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