[18F]FMISO PET/CT imaging of hypoxia as a non-invasive biomarker of disease progression and therapy efficacy in a preclinical model of pulmonary fibrosis: comparison with the [18F]FDG PET/CT approach.


Tanguy J, Goirand F, Bouchard A, Frenay J, Moreau M, Mothes C, Oudot A, Helbling A, Guillemin M, Bonniaud P, Cochet A, Collin B, Bellaye PS.


Purpose: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive disease with poor outcome and limited therapeutic options. Imaging of IPF is limited to high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) which is often not sufficient for a definite diagnosis and has a limited impact on therapeutic decision and patient management. Hypoxia of the lung is a significant feature of IPF but its role on disease progression remains elusive. Thus, the aim of our study was to evaluate hypoxia imaging with [18F]FMISO as a predictive biomarker of disease progression and therapy efficacy in preclinical models of lung fibrosis in comparison with [18F]FDG.

Methods: Eight-week-old C57/BL6 mice received an intratracheal administration of bleomycin (BLM) at day (D) 0 to initiate lung fibrosis. Mice received pirfenidone (300 mg/kg) or nintedanib (60 mg/kg) by daily gavage from D9 to D23. Mice underwent successive PET/CT imaging at several stages of the disease (baseline, D8/D9, D15/D16, D22/D23) with [18F]FDG and [18F]FMISO. Histological determination of the lung expression of HIF-1α and GLUT-1 was performed at D23.

Results: We demonstrate that mean lung density on CT as well as [18F]FDG and [18F]FMISO uptakes are upregulated in established lung fibrosis (1.4-, 2.6- and 3.2-fold increase respectively). At early stages, lung areas with [18F]FMISO uptake are still appearing normal on CT scans and correspond to areas which will deteriorate towards fibrotic lesions at later timepoints. Nintedanib and pirfenidone dramatically and rapidly decreased mean lung density on CT as well as [18F]FDG and [18F]FMISO lung uptakes (pirfenidone: 1.2-, 2.9- and 2.6-fold decrease; nintedanib: 1.2-, 2.3- and 2.5-fold decrease respectively). Early [18F]FMISO lung uptake was correlated with aggressive disease progression and better nintedanib efficacy.

Conclusion: [18F]FMISO PET imaging is a promising tool to early detect and monitor lung fibrosis progression and therapy efficacy.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2021 Sep; 48(10):3058-3074. doi: 0.1007/s00259-021-05209-2. Epub 2021 Feb 13. PMID: 33580818 Free PMC article.

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