PET Imaging Agent to Help Gauge Kidney Health

Kevin M. Bennett, PhD, associate professor for Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, developed a PET imaging agent that could refine kidney health assessments, potentially salvaging some otherwise discarded kidneys during an organ transplant. 

Bennett’s imaging agent, RadioCF, attaches to and illuminates kidney nephrons, which filters waste from the blood, which allows researchers to count the number of nephrons present. People with low numbers of nephrons are at risk of developing chronic kidney disease, so a kidney with many nephrons could be a better candidate for transplant than one with few. 

The study, published online in the American Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology, opens up the possibility of developing RadioCF into an aid for evaluating donated kidneys and a clinical tool for assessing kidney health in people with diabetes, high blood pressure or other conditions that put them at risk of chronic kidney disease. 

Read more on the School of Medicine’s website