Luminescence-based Imaging Approaches in the Field of Interventional Molecular Imaging

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2015132698

Luminescence imaging has proven its potential in clinical trials, but wide dissemination of the technology throughout the field of interventional molecular imaging has not yet occurred; current literature suggests that luminescence imaging can possibly help refine existing radiologic guidance technologies.

Luminescence imaging–based guidance technologies are increasingly gaining interest within surgical and radiologic disciplines. Their promise to help visualize molecular features of disease in real time and with microscopic detail is considered desirable. Integrating luminescence imaging with three-dimensional radiologic- and/or nuclear medicine–based preinterventional imaging may overcome limitations such as the limited tissue penetration of luminescence signals. At the same time, the beneficial features of luminescence imaging may be used to complement the routinely used radiologic- and nuclear medicine–based modalities. To fully exploit this integrated concept, and to relate the largely experimental luminesce-based guidance approaches into perspective with routine imaging approaches, it is essential to understand the advantages and limitations of this relatively new modality. By providing an overview of the available luminescence technologies and the various clinically evaluated exogenous luminescent tracers (fluorescent, hybrid, and theranostic tracers), this review attempts to place luminescence-based interventional molecular imaging technologies into perspective to the available radiologic- and/or nuclear medicine–based imaging technologies. At the same time, the transition from anatomic to physiologic and even molecular interventional luminescence imaging is illustrated.

© RSNA, 2015

Online supplemental material is available for this article.

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Article History

Received November 24, 2013; revision requested January 15, 2014; revision received June 18; accepted August 11; final version accepted October 10.
Published online: June 23 2015
Published in print: July 2015