Courtesy of Dr Adriana Tavares, this image shows PET signal measured in heart using a new radiotracer for imaging cardiovascular inflammation. Targeting the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO), this is the first fluorinated TSPO PET radiotracer with binding to human tissue independent from the rs6971 genetic polymorphism.

This collaborative work (Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow) is currently at the radiotracer preclinical validation stage with aim of translating to humans, and has recently received funding support from the British Heart Foundation.

An important property of the new TSPO PET radiotracer is its selectivity for imaging inflammation, as shown below: the signal measured in heart is reduced from before (left) to after (right) administration of PK11195, a selective TSPO drug.