Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
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Acceptance rate38%
Submission to final decision79 days
Acceptance to publication31 days
Impact Factor1.984

Diagnostic Performance of PET or PET/CT with Different Radiotracers in Patients with Suspicious Lung Cancer or Pleural Tumours according to Published Meta-Analyses

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 Journal profile

Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging is an exciting journal in the area of contrast agents and molecular imaging, covering all areas of imaging technologies with a special emphasis on MRI and PET.

 Editor spotlight

Chief Editor, Professor Zimmer, focuses on the development and use of PET radiotracers for new applications of PET/MRI imaging in neuroscience and pharmacology.

 Special Issues

We currently have a number of Special Issues open for submission. Special Issues highlight emerging areas of research within a field, or provide a venue for a deeper investigation into an existing research area.

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Research Article

Radiosynthesis, Biological Evaluation, and Preclinical Study of a 68Ga-Labeled Cyclic RGD Peptide as an Early Diagnostic Agent for Overexpressed αvβ3 Integrin Receptors in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

The αvβ3 integrin receptors have high expression on proliferating growing tumor cells of different origins including non-small-cell lung cancer. RGD-containing peptides target the extracellular domain of integrin receptors. This specific targeting makes these short sequences a suitable nominee for theranostic application. DOTA-E(cRGDfK)2 was radiolabeled with 68Ga efficiently. The in vivo and in vitro stability was examined in different buffer systems. Metabolic stability was assessed in mice urine. In vitro specific binding, cellular uptake, and internalization were determined. The tumor-targeting potential of [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-E(cRGDfK)2 in a lung cancer mouse model was studied. Besides, the very early diagnostic potential of the 68Ga-labeled RGD peptide was evaluated. The acquisition and reconstruction of the PET-CT image data were also carried out. Radiochemical and radionuclide purity for [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-E(cRGDfK)2 was >%98 and >%99, respectively. Radiotracer showed high in vivo, in vitro, and metabolic stability which was determined by ITLC. The dissociation constant (Kd) of [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-E(cRGDfK)2 was 15.28 nM. On average, more than 95% of the radioactivity was specific binding (internalized + surface-bound) to A549 cells. Biodistribution data showed that radiolabeled peptides were accumulated significantly in A549 tumor and excreted rapidly by the renal system. Tumor uptake peaks were at 1-hour postinjection for [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-E(cRGDfK)2. The tumor was clearly visualized in all images. [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-E(cRGDfK)2 can be used as a peptide-based imaging agent allowing very early detection of different cancers overexpressing αvβ3 integrin receptors and can be a potential candidate in clinical peptide-based imaging for lung cancer.

Research Article

Multiplexed 129Xe HyperCEST MRI Detection of Genetically Reconstituted Bacterial Protein Nanoparticles in Human Cancer Cells

Gas vesicle nanoparticles (GVs) are gas-containing protein assemblies expressed in bacteria and archaea. Recently, GVs have gained considerable attention for biotechnological applications as genetically encodable contrast agents for MRI and ultrasonography. However, at present, the practical use of GVs is hampered by a lack of robust methodology for their induction into mammalian cells. Here, we demonstrate the genetic reconstitution of protein nanoparticles with characteristic bicone structures similar to natural GVs in a human breast cancer cell line KPL-4 and genetic control of their size and shape through expression of reduced sets of humanized gas vesicle genes cloned into Tol2 transposon vectors, referencing the natural gas vesicle gene clusters of the cyanobacteria planktothrix rubescens/agardhii. We then report the utility of these nanoparticles as multiplexed, sensitive, and genetically encoded contrast agents for hyperpolarized xenon chemical exchange saturation transfer (HyperCEST) MRI.

Research Article

Radiomic Analysis of Craniopharyngioma and Meningioma in the Sellar/Parasellar Area with MR Images Features and Texture Features: A Feasible Study

Purpose. To investigate the ability of qualitative Magnetic Resonance (MR) images features and quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) texture features in the contrastive analysis between craniopharyngioma and meningioma. Method. A total number of 127 patients were included in this study (craniopharyngioma = 63; meningioma = 64). All the features analyzed in this study were acquired from preoperative MRI images. Qualitative MR images features were evaluated with chi-square tests or Fisher exact test, while MRI texture features were evaluated with the Mann–Whitney U test with the Benjamini–Hochberg method. Then binary logistic regression analysis for texture features was performed to evaluate their ability as independent predictors, and the diagnostic accuracy was calculated next for these texture features with high abilities as independent predictors using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Results. Four qualitative MR images features showed significant difference between craniopharyngioma and meningioma, but only cystic alteration could be considered as diagnostic independent predictors. Meanwhile, three quantitative parameters, histogram-based matrix- (HISTO-) Skewness, Grey-level co-occurrence matrix- (GLCM-) Contrast on contrast-enhanced images, and HISTO-Skewness on images of T2-weighted imaging (T2WI), showed promising abilities in the contrastive analysis. Besides, these texture features were found significantly to be relative to cystic alteration. Conclusion. MR images features and texture features were useful in the contrastive analysis of craniopharyngioma and meningioma. Furthermore, qualitative MR images features and MRI texture features could be related to each other.

Research Article

99mTc-68Ga-ICG-Labelled Macroaggregates and Nanocolloids of Human Serum Albumin: Synthesis Procedures of a Trimodal Imaging Agent Using Commercial Kits

Recent developments in sentinel lymph node (SLN) and radio occult lesion localization (ROLL) highlight the need for a multimodal contrast agent, providing better presurgical PET imaging and improved intraoperative mapping thanks to fluorescence detection. For this reason, we have studied a trimodal SLN/ROLL targeting agent (99mTc-68Ga-ICG) with commercially available kits of macroaggregated or nanocolloidal albumin (MA/NC-HSA). 68Ga PET imaging does provide better spatial resolution and makes it possible to predict signal intensity during surgery. The presence of 99mTc assesses the efficacy of these compounds in vitro and also during the surgery procedure. The aim of this study was to optimise the labelling and tagging of these two radiopharmaceuticals and assess their yields and stability. Kits of MA/NC-HSA particles (Pulmocis® and NanoAlbumon®) were used for sequential radiolabelling with 99mTc and 68Ga. Fluorescent tagging was performed using indocyanine green, a tricarbocyanine dye. The ITLC radiochemical purity of the trilabelled MA/NC-HSA was >95%. Fluorescent purity was measured by scanning the strips with a PhotoDynamicEye probe. Finally, in vitro stability tests, performed with DTPA and human serum solutions, assessed the efficacy of fluorescent tagging and radiolabelling.

Clinical Study

Personalization of CM Injection Protocols in Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography (People CT Trial)

Aim. To evaluate the performance of three contrast media (CM) injection protocols for cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) based on body weight (BW), lean BW (LBW), and cardiac output (CO). Materials and methods. A total of 327 consecutive patients referred for CCTA were randomized into one of the three CM injection protocols, where CM injection was based on either BW (112 patients), LBW (108 patients), or CO (107 patients). LBW and CO were calculated via formulas. All scans were ECG-gated and performed on a third-generation dual-source CT with 70–120 kV (automated tube voltage selection) and 100 kVqual.ref/330 mAsqual.ref. CM injection protocols were also adapted to scan time and tube voltage. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with optimal intravascular attenuation (325–500 HU). Secondary outcomes were mean and standard deviation of intravascular attenuation values (HU), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), and subjective image quality with a 4-point Likert scale (1 = poor/2 = sufficient/3 = good/4 = excellent). The t-test for independent samples was used for pairwise comparisons between groups, and a chi-square test (χ2) was used to compare categorical variables between groups. All values were 2-sided, and a was considered statistically significant. Results. Mean overall HU and CNR were 423 ± 60HU/14 ± 3 (BW), 404 ± 62HU/14 ± 3 (LBW), and 413 ± 63HU/14 ± 3 (CO) with a significant difference between groups BW and LBW (). The proportion of patients with optimal intravascular attenuation (325–500 HU) was 83.9%, 84.3%, and 86.9% for groups BW, LBW, and CO, respectively, and between-group differences were small and nonsignificant. Mean CNR was diagnostic (≥10) in all groups. The proportion of scans with good-excellent image quality was 94.6%, 86.1%, and 90.7% in the BW, LBW, and CO groups, respectively. The difference between proportions was significant between the BW and LBW groups. Conclusion. Personalization of CM injection protocols based on BW, LBW, and CO, and scan time and tube voltage in CCTA resulted in low variation between patients in terms of intravascular attenuation and a high proportion of scans with an optimal intravascular attenuation. The results suggest that personalized CM injection protocols based on LBW or CO have no additional benefit when compared with CM injection protocols based on BW.

Clinical Study

Potential Applications of 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT in the Evaluation of Salivary Gland Uptake Function: Preliminary Observations and Comparison with 99mTcO4 Salivary Gland Scintigraphy

Purpose. To preliminarily evaluate the feasibility and potential of using 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT in evaluating the function of salivary glands and lacrimal glands in comparison with 99mTc-pertechnetate () salivary gland scintigraphy (SGS). Methods. A retrospective study was performed in 15 patients with different degrees of xerostomia and suspected salivary gland dysfunction. Each patient underwent 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT first and SGS the next day, and the findings of both scans were compared. Results. The results of 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT and SGS were consistent in 12/15 patients (80%) and were inconsistent in the remaining patients (20%). For 5 (33.3%) of 15 patients, 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT provided more information than did SGS. Additionally, 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT corrected the misdiagnosis by SGS for 1 patient. Conclusions. 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT is a potentially useful imaging tool for evaluating the function of salivary glands and lacrimal glands. 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT can be a promising supplement to SGS, and its clinical value deserves further study.

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