Combination of electromechanical mapping, PET imaging targets cardiac gene therapy

In a recent study published in Human Gene Therapy, researchers found that combining electromechanic mapping with PET imaging can improve targeting of gene therapy to hibernating ischemic heart muscles.

The study was performed in Kuopio and Turku University Hospitals and included 30 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and refractory angina.

The researchers used electromechanical mapping with a NOGA system that produces three-dimensional images of myocardium and converted it to a 2D bullseye map, which were then superimposed onto PET radiowater perfusion imaging maps of the myocardium. This process allowed researchers to locate the target area for intramyocardial injections in their patients.

The NOGA mapping and injection procedures took approximately four hours each. All 30 patients who underwent this procedure, it turned out to be a success.

“Patients having clear ischemic area in PET mapping and viable myocardium with reduced contractility in NOGA mapping are the optimal candidates for gene therapy. These patients showed reduced contractility and perfusion, and injections were targeted to this area. Follow-up PET imaging showed that perfusion increased in those treated areas,” wrote Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala of University of Eastern Finland et al.