Affiliation: Nuclear Medicine Department, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy.
Alterations of the cardiac autonomic nervous system play an important role in the pathway of many heart diseases. Nuclear imaging tools have been demonstrated to be useful for global and regional assessment of myocardial innervation. We used 11C-meta-hydroxy-ephedrine (11C-mHED), a catecholamine analogue, as a radiotracer usable with a PET/CT scanner to study the cardiac sympathetic system. After a fast and automatic synthesis of mHED and its labeling with 11C, we acquired cardiac images by using a PET/ CT scanner. In this paper we present our preliminary results showing the radiotracer bio-distribution in humans 10 minutes post injection. The present study assesses the feasibility of PET/CT with the radiolabeled catecholamine analogue (11C-mHED) in order to determine sympathetic innervation in the human heart.