Radiopharmaceuticals for functional renal imaging, including renal blood flow, renal blood volume, glomerular excretion, and metabolism have been available for some time. This review outlines radiopharmaceuticals for functional renal imaging as well as those that target pertinent molecular constituents of renal injury and repair. The angiotensin and endothelin receptors are particularly appealing molecular targets for renal imaging because of their association with renal physiology and pathology. Other targets such as the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor, integrin, or phosphatidylserine have been investigated at length for cancer imaging, but they are just as important constituents of the renal injury/repair process. Various diseases can involve identical mechanisms, such as angiogenesis and apoptosis, and radiopharmaceuticals developed for these processes in other organs can also be used for renal imaging. The sensitivity and spatial resolution of positron emission tomography makes it an ideal tool for molecular and functional kidney imaging. Radiopharmaceutical development for the kidneys must focus on achieving high target selectivity and binding affinity, stability and slow metabolism in vivo, and minimal nonspecific accumulation and urinary excretion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging