Molecular Imaging of Stretch-Induced Tissue Factor Expression in Carotid Arteries with Intravascular Ultrasound


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Abstract

Lanza GM, Abendschein DR, Hall CS, et al. Molecular imaging of stretch-induced tissue factor expression in carotid arteries with intravascular ultrasound. Invest Radiol 2000;35:227–234.RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES.Molecular imaging with targeted contrast agents enables tissues to be distinguished by detecting specific cell-surface receptors. In the present study, a ligand-targeted acoustic nanoparticle system is used to identify angioplasty-induced expression of tissue factor by smooth muscle cells within carotid arteries.METHODS.Pig carotid arteries were overstretched with balloon catheters, treated with tissue factor–targeted or a control nanoparticle system, and imaged with intravascular ultrasound before and after treatment.RESULTS.Tissue factor–targeted emulsions bound and increased the echogenicity and gray-scale levels of overstretched smooth muscle cells within the tunica media, versus no change in contralateral control arteries. Expression of stretch-induced tissue factor in carotid artery media was confirmed by immunohistochemistry.CONCLUSIONS.The potential for abnormal thrombogenicity of balloon-injured arteries, as reflected by smooth muscle expression of tissue factor, was imaged using a novel, targeted, nanoparticulate ultrasonic contrast agent.

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