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Contempo Updates
Clinician's Corner
February 16, 2005

Molecular Imaging in the Clinical Arena

Author Affiliations

Contempo Updates Section Editor: Sarah Ringold, MD, Fishbein Fellow.


Author Affiliations: Center for Molecular Imaging Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown (Drs Jaffer and Weissleder); Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston (Dr Jaffer).

JAMA. 2005;293(7):855-862. doi:10.1001/jama.293.7.855

Molecular imaging is an emerging field that aims to integrate patient-specific and disease-specific molecular information with traditional anatomical imaging readouts. The information provided by this field may ultimately allow for noninvasive or minimally invasive molecular diagnostic capabilities, better clinical risk stratification, more optimal selection of disease therapy, and improved assessment of treatment efficacy. In this update, we first provide an overview of clinically relevant molecular imaging technologies and imaging agents. Next, their applications to disease detection, drug discovery, and biomedical research are discussed. To specifically demonstrate the potential of molecular imaging, we highlight recent advances in clinical and preclinical molecular imaging of cancer and atherosclerosis.