April M. Chow1,2, Mingqian Tan3, Darwin S. Gao1,4, Shu Juan Fan1,4, Jerry S. Cheung1,4, Kwan Man5, Zheng-Rong Lu3, Ed X. Wu1,4
1Laboratory of Biomedical Imaging & Signal Processing, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China, People's Republic of; 2Medical Physics & Research Department, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, Happy Valley, Hong Kong SAR, China, People's Republic of; 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA; 4Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China, People's Republic of; 5Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China, People's Republic of
Liver fibrosis is characterized by an increased amount of fibrin-fibronectin complexes, which may serve as a specific molecular target for contrast-enhanced MRI. In this study, the feasibility of CGLIIQKNEC (CLT1) peptide-targeted nanoglobular contrast agent (Gd-P) for early detection of liver fibrosis through molecular imaging of fibronectin was investigated at 7T in an experimental mouse model of fibrosis. Considerable contrast enhancements were observed and quantified in normal and fibrotic livers using Gd-P and the control non-targeted KAREC peptide nanoglobular contrast agent (Gd-CP) at 0.03mmolGd/kg. Differential enhancements between normal and fibrotic livers were only found for Gd-P. Our results indicate that Gd-P could be used as a fibrin-fibronectin specific MR contrast agent to detect and characterize liver fibrosis at early phase.