The Department of Biomedicine

BBB Seminar: Olav Tenstad

Molecular imaging of single kidney function using a novel PET-probe

Olav Tenstad
Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen

Chronic kidney disease, i.e. a progressive and irreversible decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR), is a major socio-economic, medical and scientific challenge. Correct and timely measurements of GFR in risk groups like patients with diabetes mellitus and hypertension seem therefore to be essential in order to prevent an epidemic increase in end stage renal failure and need for renal replacement therapy. Unfortunately, there are at present no satisfactory non-invasive methods to measure GFR. We have therefore developed new probes for molecular imaging of renal function using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) that is highly specific for filtering nephrons. Since the GFR-marker accumulates quantitatively and exclusively in filtering nephrons close to their parent glomeruli, the dose can be reduced by two orders of magnitude as compared to conventional tracers used in nuclear medicine. Furthermore, potential side effects are minimized by utilizing endogenous substances already present in human body fluids. I will give a brief overview of renal function in health and disease, present imaging data in anaesthetized farm pigs with different unilateral perturbations of renal function, and discuss the potential clinical and scientific value of improved methodology.

Chair: Helge Wiig, Department of Biomedicine