Positron Emission Tomography Using 64-Copper as a Tracer for the Study of Copper-Related Disorders

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Copper is an essential trace element, functioning in catalysis and signaling in biological systems. Radiolabeled copper has been used for decades in studying basic human and animal copper metabolism and copper-related disorders, such as Wilson disease (WD) and Menke's disease. A recent addition to this toolkit is 64-copper (64 Cu) positron emission tomography (PET), combining the accurate anatomical imaging of modern computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners with the biodistribution of the64 Cu PET tracer signal. This allows the in vivo tracking of copper fluxes and kinetics, thereby directly visualizing human and animal copper organ traffic and metabolism. Consequently,64 Cu PET is well-suited for evaluating clinical and preclinical treatment effects and has already demonstrated the ability to diagnose WD accurately. Furthermore,64 Cu PET/CT studies have proven valuable in other scientific areas like cancer and stroke research. The present article shows how to perform64 Cu PET/CT or PET/MR in humans. Procedures for64 Cu handling, patient preparation, and scanner setup are demonstrated here.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65109
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Animals
  • Copper Radioisotopes
  • Copper/metabolism
  • Hepatolenticular Degeneration/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Positron-Emission Tomography/methods
  • Tissue Distribution


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