Angiogenesis and vascular remodeling are involved in a wide array of cardiovascular diseases, from myocardial ischemia and peripheral arterial disease, to atherosclerosis and aortic aneurysm. Molecular imaging techniques to detect and quantify key molecular and cellular players in angiogenesis and vascular remodeling (e.g., vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptors, αvβ3 integrin, and matrix metalloproteinases) can advance vascular biology research and serve as clinical tools for early diagnosis, risk stratification, and selection of patients who would benefit most from therapeutic interventions. To target these key mediators, a number of molecular imaging techniques have been developed and evaluated in animal models of angiogenesis and vascular remodeling. This review of the state of the art molecular imaging of angiogenesis and vascular (and valvular) remodeling, will focus mostly on nuclear imaging techniques (positron emission tomography and single photon emission tomography) that offer high potential for clinical translation.
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