Imaging myocardial angiogenesis
Imaging myocardial angiogenesis presents a major technical challenge because the ideal spatial resolution required is substantially higher than that available with standard X-ray angiography and nuclear medicine imaging. Moreover, these clinical imaging methods are currently inadequate (because of insufficient resolution) for clinical trials of angiogenic agents for the treatment of ischemic heart disease. Specialized techniques in MRI, ultrasonography, echocardiography and CT that are under development might provide improved means of imaging myocardial angiogenesis. Molecular imaging technologies are also being developed to improve resolution and to provide a better mechanistic insight into angiogenic therapies for ischemic heart diseases. This Review examines advanced methods for imaging angiogenesis. These technologies might soon permit data to be obtained directly from scientific studies and clinical trials.