PET radioligand injection for pig neuroimaging

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Pigs are useful models in neuroimaging studies with positron emission tomography. Radiolabeled ligands are injected intravenously at the start of the scan and in pigs, the most easily accessible route of administration is the ear vein. However, in brain studies the short distance between the brain and ear vein can be problematic, as both are localized inside the field of view, and as a consequence tracer remnants in the catheter may influence the outcome of the scan. Here, we discuss different options to avoid this problem. Femoral vein can be used in studies where repeated arterial blood sampling is needed, as surgical incision is performed to allow access to the artery nonetheless. When a non-invasive technique is preferred, the ear vein is a good alternative although it is recommended to dilute the tracer sufficiently (20-50 mL) prior to injection. The tracer can furthermore be injected through an extension tube (filled with saline before injection), which is removed together with the syringe after tracer injection. This avoids placing the syringe with tracer inside the gantry while injecting. By following these simple instructions, it is our experience that it would be possible to get high-quality images without exposing pigs to invasive procedures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Laboratory Animal Science
Pages (from-to)1-5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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