We aimed to determine a detailed regional ventricular distribution pattern of the novel cardiac nerve PET radiotracer 18F-LMI1195 in healthy rabbits. Ex-vivo high resolution autoradiographic imaging was conducted to identify accurate ventricular distribution of 18F-LMI1195. In healthy rabbits, 18F-LMI1195 was administered followed by the reference perfusion marker 201Tl for a dual-radiotracer analysis. After 20 min of 18F-LMI1195 distribution time, the rabbits were euthanized, the hearts were extracted, frozen, and cut into 20-μm short axis slices. Subsequently, the short axis sections were exposed to a phosphor imaging plate to determine 18F-LMI1195 distribution (exposure for 3 h). After complete 18F decay, sections were re-exposed to determine 201Tl distribution (exposure for 7 days). For quantitative analysis, segmental regions of Interest (ROIs) were divided into four left ventricular (LV) and a right ventricular (RV) segment on mid-ventricular short axis sections. Subendocardial, mid-portion, and subepicardial ROIs were placed on the LV lateral wall. 18F-LMI1195 distribution was almost homogeneous throughout the LV wall without any significant differences in all four LV ROIs (anterior, posterior, septal and lateral wall, 99 ± 2, 94 ± 5, 94 ± 4 and 97 ± 3%LV, respectively, n.s.). Subepicardial 201Tl uptake was significantly lower compared to the subendocardial portion (subendocardial, mid-portion, and subepicardial activity: 90 ± 3, 96 ± 2 and *80 ± 5%LV, respectively, *p < 0.01 vs. mid-portion). This was in contradistinction to the transmural wall profile of 18F-LMI1195 (90 ± 4, 96 ± 5 and 84 ± 4%LV, n.s.). A slight but significant discrepant transmural radiotracer distribution pattern of 201Tl in comparison to 18F-LMI1195 may be a reflection of physiological sympathetic innervation and perfusion in rabbit hearts.
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