Purpose: Blood flow is an important factor in bone production and repair, but its role in osteogenesis induced by mechanical loading is unknown. Here, we present techniques for evaluating blood flow and fluoride metabolism in a pre-clinical stress fracture model of osteogenesis in rats. Procedures: Bone formation was induced by forelimb compression in adult rats. 15O water and 18F fluoride PET imaging were used to evaluate blood flow and fluoride kinetics 7 days after loading. 15O water was modeled using a one-compartment, two-parameter model, while a two-compartment, three-parameter model was used to model 18F fluoride. Input functions were created from the heart, and a stochastic search algorithm was implemented to provide initial parameter values in conjunction with a Levenberg-Marquardt optimization algorithm. Results: Loaded limbs are shown to have a 26% increase in blood flow rate, 113% increase in fluoride flow rate, 133% increase in fluoride flux, and 13% increase in fluoride incorporation into bone as compared to non-loaded limbs (p<0.05 for all results). Conclusions: The results shown here are consistent with previous studies, confirming this technique is suitable for evaluating the vascular response and mineral kinetics of osteogenic mechanical loading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-354
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Bone blood flow
  • F fluoride
  • Mechanical loading
  • O water


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