PET/CT Study Reveals Blood Vessel Growth Correlation in Fibrotic Lung Disease

Professor Porter and team have had a vital piece of work published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

The study looked at using a PET/CT scan with a special marker called [18F]FDG to see changes in the lungs of patients with fibrotic interstitial lung disease (fILD). They have previously shown that the higher the signal from the lungs of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis on PET scan, then the worse the outcome for these patients.

They have now compared the PET scan results with tissue samples from lung biopsies from the same patients to see if there are links between the two.

They found that a marker related to blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) in the lung biopsy was positively correlated with the [18F]FDG uptake in the scans. Specifically, CD105 MVD (microvessel density) showed this correlation. The study also found that certain markers related to blood vessel growth were higher in the most severe fibrosis cases, those with usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) histology on biopsy, compared to non-UIP cases.

Furthermore, the team found that higher blood vessel growth markers were associated with poorer survival rates in patients with fILD. Specifically, patients with lower CD105 or CD31 MVD scores had better survival rates compared to those with higher scores.

In conclusion, the study suggests a potential relationship between blood vessel growth and the [18F]FDG PET/CT scan results in fILD, highlighting the importance of investigating blood vessels and angiogenesis in fibrosis.

It is interesting that one of the treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is Nintedanib, or Ofev, which directly inhibits new blood vessel formation.

By understanding what drives the new blood vessel formation in IPF, we may understand how the disease develops, and develop better treatments. One of the novel treatments we plan to assess is an inhibitor of leucine rich glycoprotein (LRG)-1 that is used to prevent new blood vessel formation in eye disease and cancer. We have found LRG-1 is upregulated in the blood and lungs of patients with IPF and may be a new drug target.

Watch this space!

You can read the full article here 


[Posted May 2024]

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