UNLABELLEDThe ketone body acetoacetate could be used as an alternate nutrient for the heart, and it also has the potential to improve cardiac function in an ischemic-reperfusion model or reduce the mitochondrial production of oxidative stress involved in cardiotoxicity. In this study, [(11)C]-acetoacetate was investigated as an early marker of intracellular damage in heart failure.METHODSA rat cardiotoxicity heart failure model was induced by doxorubicin, Dox(+). [(14)C]-Acetoacetate, a non-positron (β-) emitting radiotracer, was used to characterize the arterial blood input function and myocardial mitochondrial uptake. Afterward, [(11)C]-acetoacetate (β+) myocardial PET images were obtained for kinetic analysis and heart function assessment in control Dox(-) (n=15) and treated Dox(+) (n=6) rats. The uptake rate (K1) and myocardial clearance rate (k2or kmono) were extracted.RESULTS[(14)C]-Acetoacetate in the blood was increased in Dox(+), from 2 min post-injection until the last withdrawal point when the heart was harvested, as well as the uptake in the heart and myocardial mitochondria (unpaired t-test, p <0.05). PET kinetic analysis of [(11)C]-acetoacetate showed that rate constants K1, k2 and kmono were decreased in Dox(+) (p <0.05) combined with a reduction of 24% of the left ventricular ejection fraction (p <0.001).CONCLUSIONRadioactive acetoacetate ex vivo analysis [(14)C], and in vivo kinetic [(11)C] studies provided evidence that [(11)C]-acetoacetate can assess heart failure Dox(+). Contrary to myocardial flow reserve (rest-stress protocol), [(11)C]-acetoacetate can be used to assess reduced kinetic rate constants without requirement of hyperemic stress response. The proposed [(11)C]-acetoacetate cardiac radiotracer in the investigation of heart disease is novel and paves the way to a potential role for [(11)C]-acetoacetate in cardiac pathophysiology.