Fluoromisonidazole. A metabolic marker of myocyte hypoxia

G. Martin v., M. D. Cerqueira, J. H. Caldwell, J. S. Rasey, L. Embree, K. A. Krohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Fluoromisonidazole is metabolically trapped in viable hypoxic cells in vitro. This property is the basis for the hypothesis that [18F]fluoromisonidazole can be used to detect hypoxic tissues noninvasively using positron emission tomography. To assess the potential usefulness of this compound as a marker for hypoxic myocardium, we measured the accumulation of [3H]fluoromisonidazole in isolated adult rat myocytes under normoxic, hypoxic (5,000 ppm O2), and anoxic conditions. Both anoxia and hypoxia caused a marked increase in [3H[fluoromisonidazole accumulation. Relative to uptake during normoxia, uptake during anoxia was increased by 8.4-fold at 60 minutes and 26.5-fold at 180 minutes (p < 0.001). During hypoxia uptake was increased by 4.4-fold at 60 minutes and by 15.3-fold at 180 minutes (p < 0.001) and occurred in the absence of significant cell injury as measured by release of creatine kinase and changes in cell morphology. Additional studies demonstrated a slow oxygen-insensitive efflux of fluoromisonidazole or labeled metabolite(s) from myocytes reincubated in drug-free medium. We conclude that fluoromisonidazole is avidly retained in hypoxic myocytes and thus may be suitable for noninvasive detection of hypoxic myocardium using positron emission tomography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-244
Number of pages5
JournalCirculation research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • fluoromisonidazole
  • hypoxia
  • myocytes
  • nitroimidazoles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluoromisonidazole. A metabolic marker of myocyte hypoxia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this