Techniques necessary for multiple tracer quantitative small-animal imaging studies

Terry L. Sharp, Carmen S. Dence, John A. Engelbach, Pilar Herrero, Robert J. Gropler, Michael J. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Introduction: An increasing number and variety of studies on rodent models are being conducted using small-animal positron emission tomography scanners. We aimed to determine if animal handling techniques could be developed to perform routine animal imaging in a timely and efficient manner and with minimal effect on animal physiology. These techniques need to be reproducible in the same animal while maintaining hemodynamic and physiological stability. Methods: The necessary techniques include (a) the use of inhalant anesthesia, (b) arterial and venous cannulation for multiple tracer administrations and blood sampling, (c) development of small-volume analytic columns and techniques and (d) measurement of the physiological environment during the imaging session. Results: We provide an example of a cardiac imaging study using four radiotracers (15O-water, 1-[11C]-acetate, 1-[ 11C]-palmitate and 1-[11C]-glucose) injected into normal rats. Plasma substrates, CO2 production and total metabolites were measured. The animals remained anesthetized over the entire imaging session, and their physiological state was maintained. Conclusion: The intrastudy stability of the physiological measurements and substrate levels and interstudy reproducibility of the measurements are reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-884
Number of pages10
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Handling techniques
  • PET
  • Small animal


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