Shimada, K., K. Yoshida, H. Tadokoro, S. Kitsukawa, A. Takami, K. Suzuki, S. Tanada and Y. Masuda. High-resolution cardiac PET in rabbits: Imaging and quantitation of myocardial blood flow. Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 39:2022-2027, 1998.

A high-resolution PET system for small animals was tested for its applicability to the investigation of regional myocardial blood flow (MBF) in rabbits. Methods: Nineteen measurements were performed in 10 closed-chest anesthetized rabbits at baseline and during infusions of adenosine (0.2 mg/kg/min) and propranolol (0.2-1.20 mg slow infusion) to obtain a wide range of MBF. Myocardial blood flow was assessed both by dynamic N-13-ammonia PET and by colored microspheres. Blood was withdrawn directly from the femoral artery, and arterial N-13 activity was measured by coincidence type gamma detection system for the input function. Nitrogen-13 myocardial uptake was calculated by dividing the myocardial 13N activity by the integral value of the input function. Results: Three or four contiguous cross-sectional myocardial images were obtained after N-13-ammonia injection. The left ventricular wall and cardiac cavity were clearly visualized. Moreover, initial passage of the tracer through the heart was obtained with serial 10-sec PET images. Nitrogen-13 myocardial uptake correlated well with flow measured with microspheres (r = 0.88). Conclusion: Our cardiac PET system can be used for in vivo imaging and quantitation of MBF in small animals and may play an important role in the future study of animal models of cardiovascular diseases.