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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 3140120, 15 pages
Review Article

In Vivo Tracking of Cell Therapies for Cardiac Diseases with Nuclear Medicine

1Departamento de Radiologia, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 21941-913 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 21941-902 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 9 August 2015; Revised 18 October 2015; Accepted 20 October 2015

Academic Editor: Renke Li

Copyright © 2016 Mayra Lorena Moreira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Even though heart diseases are amongst the main causes of mortality and morbidity in the world, existing treatments are limited in restoring cardiac lesions. Cell transplantations, originally developed for the treatment of hematologic ailments, are presently being explored in preclinical and clinical trials for cardiac diseases. Nonetheless, little is known about the possible efficacy and mechanisms for these therapies and they are the center of continuous investigation. In this scenario, noninvasive imaging techniques lead to greater comprehension of cell therapies. Radiopharmaceutical cell labeling, firstly developed to track leukocytes, has been used successfully to evaluate the migration of cell therapies for myocardial diseases. A substantial rise in the amount of reports employing this methodology has taken place in the previous years. We will review the diverse radiopharmaceuticals, imaging modalities, and results of experimental and clinical studies published until now. Also, we report on current limitations and potential advances of radiopharmaceutical labeling for cell therapies in cardiac diseases.