αvβ6-Targeted Molecular PET/CT Imaging of the Lungs After SARS-CoV-2 Infection.
- Author(s): Foster, Cameron C;
- Davis, Ryan A;
- Hausner, Sven H;
- Sutcliffe, Julie L
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.2967/jnumed.120.255364
The true impact and long-term damage to organs such as the lungs after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection remain to be determined. Noninvasive molecularly targeted imaging may play a critical role in aiding visualization and understanding of the systemic damage. We have identified αvβ6 as a molecular target; an epithelium-specific cell surface receptor that is low or undetectable in healthy adult epithelium but upregulated in select injured tissues, including fibrotic lung. Herein we report the first human PET/CT images using the integrin αvβ6-binding peptide (18F-αvβ6-BP) in a patient 2 mo after the acute phase of infection. Minimal uptake of 18F-αvβ6-BP was noted in normal lung parenchyma, with uptake being elevated in areas corresponding to opacities on CT. This case suggests that 18F-αvβ6-BP PET/CT is a promising noninvasive approach to identify the presence and potentially monitor the persistence and progression of lung damage.