We have developed a novel concept to visualize and quantify single kidney function direct, fast and with superior selectivity without the need for blood or urine sampling. The invention decreases the time required for investigating kidney filtration function from multiple hours or days down to minutes, allowing early disease detection and improved experience for patients and kidney donors. The concept is based on Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging of Glomerular Filtration rate (GFR) following i.v. injection of an endogenous molecule labelled with 18F.
Knowledge of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is of crucial importance in the handling of patients and potential kidney donors. GFR is widely accepted as the best overall measure of kidney function and there is a strong correlation between reduced GFR and mortality. The presently available methods for GFR measurements however possess serious limitations. They are lengthy and cumbersome for the patients and clinicians often rely on non-functional imaging modalities or inaccurate blood test in their decision making. In addition, today only the collective function of both kidneys is assessed. Serious perturbations in one kidney may remain undiagnosed since the contralateral kidney usually compensates for the loss of function while it is still healthy. Kidney PET functional imaging is underutilized because of lack of disease-specific molecular probes. The PET GFR solution presented in this project presents a unique and innovative concept that offer exactly such a probe.
This project will verify the concept for clinical studies and further commercialization. The success of the project is pending on positive results from tests in pigs, to conclude on the 18F-probes to be used in humans and the correct dosage for clinical trials. Furthermore, the primary use case will be verified and evaluated in collaboration with partners.