External assessment of myocardial glucose metabolism with fluorine-18-2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose

Van Thi Bich Nguyen, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Despite the popularity of the positron emitting glucose analog, ($\sp{18}$F) -2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose (2FDG), for the noninvasive "metabolic imaging" of organs with positron emission tomography (PET), the physiological basis for the tracer has not been tested, and the potential of 2FDG for the rapid kinetic analysis of altered glucose metabolism in the intact heart has not been fully exploited. We, therefore, developed a quantitative method to characterize metabolic changes of myocardial glucose metabolism noninvasively and with high temporal resolution. The first objective of the work was to provide direct evidence that the initial steps in the metabolism of 2FDG are the same as for glucose and that 2FDG is retained by the tissue in proportion to the rate of glucose utilization. The second objective was to characterize the kinetic changes in myocardial glucose transport and phosphorylation in response to changes in work load, competing substrates, acute ischemia and reperfusion, and the addition of insulin. To assess changes in myocardial glucose metabolism isolated working rat hearts were perfused with glucose and 2FDG. Tissue uptake of 2FDG and the input function were measured on-line by external detection. The steady state rate of 2FDG phosphorylation was determined by graphical analysis of 2FDG time-activity curves. The rate of 2FDG uptake was linear with time and the tracer was retained in its phosphorylated form. Tissue accumulation of 2FDG decreased within seconds with a reduction in work load, in the presence of competing substrates, and during reperfusion after global ischemia. Thus, most interventions known to alter glucose metabolism induced rapid parallel changes in 2FDG uptake. By contrast, insulin caused a significant increase in 2FDG accumulation only in hearts from fasted animals when perfused at a sub-physiological work load. The mechanism for this phenomenon is not known but may be related to the existence of two different glucose transporter systems and/or glycogen metabolism in the myocardial cell. It is concluded that (1) 2FDG traces glucose uptake and phosphorylation in the isolated working rat heart; and (2) early and transient kinetic changes in glucose metabolism can be monitored with high temporal resolution with 2FDG and a simple positron coincidence counting system. The new method has revealed transients of myocardial glucose metabolism, which would have remained unnoticed with conventional methods. These transients are not only important for the interpretation of glucose metabolic PET scans, but also provide insights into mechanisms of glucose transport and phosphorylation in heart muscle.

Subject Area

Anatomy & physiology|Animals|Radiology

Recommended Citation

Nguyen, Van Thi Bich, "External assessment of myocardial glucose metabolism with fluorine-18-2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose" (1990). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9114742.