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A review of molecular imaging of atherosclerosis and the potential application of dendrimer in imaging of plaque

Authors Anwaier G, Chen C, Cao Y, Qi R

Received 23 May 2017

Accepted for publication 13 July 2017

Published 19 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 7681—7693

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S142385

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun


Gulinigaer Anwaier,1–3,* Cong Chen,1,2,* Yini Cao,1,2 Rong Qi1–3

1Peking University Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Molecular Cardiovascular Sciences, Ministry of education, Peking University Health Science Center, 2Beijing Key Laboratory of Molecular Pharmaceutics and New Drug Delivery Systems, Beijing, 3School of Basic Medical Science, Shihezi University, Shihezi, Xinjiang, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Despite the fact that technological advancements have been made in diagnosis and treatment, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) remain the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Early detection of atherosclerosis (AS), especially vulnerable plaques, plays a crucial role in the prevention of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Targeting the critical cytokines and molecules that are upregulated during the biological process of AS by in vivo molecular imaging has been widely used in plaque imaging. With their three-dimensional architecture, composition, and abundant terminal functional groups, dendrimers provide a platform for multitargeting and multimodal imaging. Thus, modified dendrimers with the key molecules upregulated in AS plaques will be an innovative attempt to achieve targeted imaging of AS plaques specifically and efficiently. This review was aimed to address some recent works on imaging of AS plaques using various types of image technology and further discuss the applications of dendrimers, an innovative yet seldom used method in imaging of AS plaques due to some limitations and challenges, and we highlight the bright future of the modified dendrimers in characterizing AS plaques.

Keywords: atherosclerosis plaques, molecular imaging, dendrimers

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