Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

PET Scans Used To Monitor Lung Inflammation Noninvasively

Date:
March 15, 2006
Source:
Washington University School of Medicine
Summary:
A noninvasive approach for assessing lung inflammation should accelerate efforts to develop drugs for inflammatory lung conditions like cystic fibrosis and pneumonia, scientists report. Researchers say the new imaging process may help doctors monitor the conditions of patients with inflammatory lung diseases and should make it easier for investigators to test potential anti-inflammatory drugs.

In this PET image, the arrow shows inflammation of the lungs.
Credit: Image courtesy of Washington University School of Medicine

A noninvasive approach for assessing lung inflammation should accelerate efforts to develop drugs for inflammatory lung conditions like cystic fibrosis and pneumonia, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.

Researchers have used positron emission tomography (PET) scans to monitor artificially induced inflammation in the lungs of healthy volunteers. The new imaging process may help doctors monitor the conditions of patients with inflammatory lung diseases and should make it easier to test potential anti-inflammatory drugs in trials.

"Until now, when we wanted to assess whether a new drug decreased lung inflammation, the options for specifically measuring active inflammation were not pleasant," says lead author Delphine Chen, M.D., chief resident in nuclear medicine at the medical school's Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. "We could perform a bronchoscopy and gather samples directly from the breathing passages, or we could have patients inhale a saline solution and cough it back up."

To make it possible to detect lung inflammation with PET, Chen and her colleagues employed an imaging technique commonly used to diagnose cancer and monitor its treatment. Scientists reported the results in a paper published online by The Journal of Applied Physiology.

Senior author Daniel P. Schuster, M.D., professor of medicine and of radiology, hopes the new imaging process will make it possible to give new drugs trial runs.

"Full-scale clinical trials are costly in terms of both time and dollars spent, and right now it's very difficult to find intermediate steps that allow us to build confidence in a drug's effectiveness before taking that plunge," Schuster says.

With the new PET procedure, Schuster says, researchers developing anti-inflammatory drugs can test the drugs' effects in less expensive trials involving smaller groups of healthy volunteers and patients.

"If the drug passes those tests, then you can say, okay, let's see in a full-scale trial if the drug actually has an impact on some important patient-centered outcome like mortality or disease progression," he says.

To create areas of limited lung inflammation in healthy volunteers, researchers used a technique originally developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health. It involves the injection, via bronchoscope, of a small amount of endotoxin into a lung segment.

"Endotoxin is a purified bacterial substance that triggers inflammation," Schuster says. "The technique we used keeps that inflammation compartmentalized to a small region in the lung, ensuring that the inflammation doesn't become systemic."

Another research group previously had shown that this artificial inflammation could be used to test potential drugs, but they followed the effects of the drugs via a second insertion of the bronchoscope into the volunteers' tracheas.

Chen and her colleagues instead injected volunteers with fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a form of sugar readily detectable by PET, and continuously monitored the lungs for 60 minutes to see how much FDG appeared there.

Scientists already have completed a trial to test the new imaging procedure's ability to detect inflammation in cystic fibrosis patients that will be published soon in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Chen DL, Rosenbluth DB, Mintun MA, Schuster DP. FDG-PET imaging of pulmonary inflammation in healthy volunteers after airway instillation of endotoxin. The Journal of Applied Physiology, online publication.

Funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation supported this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University School of Medicine. "PET Scans Used To Monitor Lung Inflammation Noninvasively." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060308201829.htm>.
Washington University School of Medicine. (2006, March 15). PET Scans Used To Monitor Lung Inflammation Noninvasively. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060308201829.htm
Washington University School of Medicine. "PET Scans Used To Monitor Lung Inflammation Noninvasively." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060308201829.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins