Although the majority of PET radiopharmaceuticals in clinical and research use are labeled with the four common PET radionuclides, 15O, 13N, nC and 18F, a number of metal radionuclides have been studied. 68Ga, produced from a 68Ge/68Ga generator, was initially used for brain imaging in 1964 [1, 2]. The 82Sr/82Rb generator was originally developed by researchers at the Squibb Institute for Medical Research . This generator, now marketed by Bracco, is the only industry-approved PET radiopharmaceutical with a Food and Drug Administration New Drug Application (NDA) in the United States. Over the past several years, there has been increasing interest in other metal-based radionu-clides, particularly nuclides of copper, 66Ga and 86Y. Several of these nuclides can be distributed from a central production site and thereby have the potential for use in PET centers without a cyclotron.
In this chapter the available metal PET radionuclides will be summarized and those with the greatest potential for widespread use will be discussed in detail.
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