Professional Education

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stanford University, Radiology (2016)
  • Residency, University Medical Center Mainz, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Director: Prof. Dr. med. Christoph Dber (2012)
  • Residency, University Medical Center Mainz, Department of General, Abdominal and Transplant Surgery Director: Prof. Dr. med. Hauke Lang (2011)
  • Doctor of Medicine, Ruprecht-Karls-Universitt Heidelberg (2010)

Stanford Advisors


All Publications

  • Tracking Cell Transplants in Femoral Osteonecrosis with Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Proof of Concept Study in Patients. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Theruvath, A. J., Nejadnik, H., Muehe, A. M., Gassert, F., Lacayo, N. J., Goodman, S. B., Daldrup-Link, H. E. 2018


    PURPOSE: Osteonecrosis (ON) is a devastating complication of high dose corticosteroid therapy in cancer patients. Core decompression for prevention of bone collapse has been recently combined with the delivery of autologous concentrated bone marrow aspirates. The purpose of our study was to develop an imaging test for the detection of transplanted bone marrow cells in ON lesions.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: In a prospective proof-of-concept clinical trial (NCT02893293), we performed serial MR imaging studies of nine hip joints of seven ON patients before and after core decompression. 24-48hours prior to the surgery, we injected ferumoxytol nanoparticles intravenously to label cells in normal bone marrow with iron oxides. During the surgery, iron labeled bone marrow cells were aspirated from the iliac crest, concentrated and then injected into the decompression track. Following surgery, patients received follow-up MRI up to 6 months after bone marrow cell transplantation.RESULTS: Iron labeled cells could be detected in the access canal by a dark (negative) signal on T2*-weighted MR images. T2* relaxation times of iron labeled cell transplants were significantly lower compared to unlabeled cell transplants of control patients who were not injected with ferumoxytol (P = 0.02). Clinical outcomes of patients who received ferumoxytol-labeled or unlabeled cell transplants were not significantly different (P = 1), suggesting that the added ferumoxytol administration did not negatively affect bone repair.CONCLUSIONS: This immediately clinically applicable imaging test could become a powerful new tool to monitor the effect of therapeutic cells on bone repair outcomes after corticosteroid-induced osteonecrosis.

    View details for PubMedID 30224340

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Tumor Associated Macrophages: Clinical Translation. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Aghighi, M., Theruvath, A. J., Pareek, A., Pisani, L., Alford, R., Muehe, A. M., Sethi, T. K., Holdsworth, S. J., Hazard, F. K., Gratzinger, D., Luna-Fineman, S., Advani, R. H., Spunt, S. L., Daldrup-Link, H. E. 2018


    Tumor associated macrophages (TAM) in malignant tumors have been linked to tumor aggressiveness and represent a new target for cancer immunotherapy. As new TAM-targeted immunotherapies are entering clinical trials, it is important to detect and quantify TAM with non-invasive imaging techniques. The purpose of this study was to determine if ferumoxytol-enhanced MRI can detect TAM in lymphomas and bone sarcomas of pediatric patients and young adults.In a first-in-patient, IRB-approved prospective clinical trial, 25 pediatric and young adult patients with lymphoma or bone sarcoma underwent ferumoxytol-enhanced MRI. To confirm ferumoxytol enhancement, five pilot patients (2 lymphoma, 3 bone sarcoma) underwent pre- and post-contrast MRI. Subsequently, 20 patients (10 lymphoma, 10 bone sarcoma) underwent ferumoxytol-enhanced MRI 24-48 hours after intravenous injection, followed by tumor biopsy/resection and macrophage staining. To determine if ferumoxytol-MRI can differentiate tumors with different TAM content, we compared T2* relaxation times of lymphomas and bone sarcomas. Tumor T2* values of 20 patients were correlated with CD68+ and CD163+ TAM quantities on histopathology.Significant ferumoxytol tumor enhancement was noted on post-contrast scans compared to pre-contrast scans (P = 0.036). Bone sarcomas and lymphomas demonstrated significantly different MRI enhancement and TAM density (P < 0.05). Within each tumor group, T2* signal enhancement on MR images correlated significantly with the density of CD68+ and CD163+ TAM (P < 0.05).Ferumoxytol-enhanced MRI is immediately clinically applicable and could be used to stratify patients with TAM-rich tumors to immune-targeted therapies and to monitor tumor response to these therapies.

    View details for PubMedID 29764855

  • A PET/MR Imaging Approach for the Integrated Assessment of Chemotherapy-induced Brain, Heart, and Bone Injuries in Pediatric Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study. Radiology Theruvath, A. J., Ilivitzki, A., Muehe, A., Theruvath, J., Gulaka, P., Kim, C., Luna-Fineman, S., Sakamoto, K. M., Yeom, K. W., Yang, P., Moseley, M., Chan, F., Daldrup-Link, H. E. 2017: 170073


    Purpose To develop a positron emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance (MR) imaging protocol for evaluation of the brain, heart, and joints of pediatric cancer survivors for chemotherapy-induced injuries in one session. Materials and Methods Three teams of experts in neuroimaging, cardiac imaging, and bone imaging were tasked to develop a 20-30-minute PET/MR imaging protocol for detection of chemotherapy-induced tissue injuries of the brain, heart, and bone. In an institutional review board-approved, HIPAA-compliant, prospective study from April to July 2016, 10 pediatric cancer survivors who completed chemotherapy underwent imaging of the brain, heart, and bone with a 3-T PET/MR imager. Cumulative chemotherapy doses and clinical symptoms were correlated with the severity of MR imaging abnormalities by using linear regression analyses. MR imaging measures of brain perfusion and metabolism were compared among eight patients who were treated with methotrexate and eight untreated age-matched control subjects by using Wilcoxon rank-sum tests. Results Combined brain, heart, and bone examinations were completed within 90 minutes. Eight of 10 cancer survivors had abnormal findings on brain, heart, and bone images, including six patients with and two patients without clinical symptoms. Cumulative chemotherapy doses correlated significantly with MR imaging measures of left ventricular ejection fraction and end-systolic volume, but not with the severity of brain or bone abnormalities. Methotrexate-treated cancer survivors had significantly lower cerebral blood flow and metabolic activity in key brain areas compared with control subjects. Conclusion The feasibility of a single examination for assessment of chemotherapy-induced injuries of the brain, heart, and joints was shown. Earlier detection of tissue injuries may enable initiation of timely interventions and help to preserve long-term health of pediatric cancer survivors. () RSNA, 2017 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

    View details for PubMedID 28777701

  • Vom Rontgen zum PET/MRT, und dann? - Zukunftsweisende Bildgebung in der Kinderradiologie. RoFo : Fortschritte auf dem Gebiete der Rontgenstrahlen und der Nuklearmedizin Staatz, G., Daldrup-Link, H. E., Herrmann, J., Hirsch, F. W., Schafer, J. F., Seehofnerova, A., Sorantin, E., Theruvath, A. J., Lollert, A. 2019; 191 (4): 357?66


    Significant changes can be expected in modern pediatric radiology. New imaging techniques are progressively added to basic modalities like Xrays and ultrasound. This essay summarizes recent advances and technical innovations in pediatric radiology, which are supposed to gain further importance in the future. Thus, CT dose reduction techniques including artificial intelligence as well as advances in the fields of magnetic resonance and molecular imaging are presented. KEY POINTS: Technical innovations will lead to significant changes in pediatric radiology.. CT dose reduction is crucial for pediatric patient collectives.. New MR-techniques will lower the need for sedation and contrast media application.. Functional MR-imaging might gain further importance in patients with chronic lung disease.. Molecular imaging enables detection, characterization and quantification of molecular processes in tumors.. CITATION FORMAT: Staatz G, Daldrup-Link HE, Herrmann J et?al. From Xrays to PET/MR, and then? - Future imaging in pediatric radiology. Fortschr Rontgenstr 2019; 191: 357?-?366.

    View details for PubMedID 30897652

  • Ferumoxytol Is Not Retained in Kidney Allografts in Patients Undergoing Acute Rejection. Molecular imaging and biology Aghighi, M., Pisani, L., Theruvath, A. J., Muehe, A. M., Donig, J., Khan, R., Holdsworth, S. J., Kambham, N., Concepcion, W., Grimm, P. C., Daldrup-Link, H. E. 2017


    To evaluate whether ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (USPIO)-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect allograft rejection in pediatric kidney transplant patients.The USPIO ferumoxytol has a long blood half-life and is phagocytosed by macrophages. In an IRB-approved single-center prospective clinical trial, 26 pediatric patients and adolescents (age 10-26years) with acute allograft rejection (n=5), non-rejecting allografts (n=13), and normal native kidneys (n=8) underwent multi-echo T2* fast spoiled gradient-echo (FSPGR) MRI after intravenous injection (p.i.) of 5mg Fe/kg ferumoxytol. T2* relaxation times at 4h p.i. (perfusion phase) and more than 20h p.i. (macrophage phase) were compared with biopsy results. The presence of rejection was assessed using the Banff criteria, and the prevalence of macrophages on CD163 immunostains was determined based on a semi-quantitative scoring system. MRI and histology data were compared among patient groups using t tests, analysis of variance, and regression analyses with a significance threshold of p<0.05.At 4h p.i., mean T2* values were 6.61.5ms for native kidneys and 3.9ms for one allograft undergoing acute immune rejection. Surprisingly, at 20-24h p.i., one rejecting allograft showed significantly prolonged T2* relaxation times (37.0ms) compared to native kidneys (6.31.7ms) and non-rejecting allografts (7.60.1ms). Likewise, three additional rejecting allografts showed significantly prolonged T2* relaxation times compared to non-rejecting allografts at later post-contrast time points, 25-97h p.i. (p=0.008). Histological analysis revealed edema and compressed microvessels in biopsies of rejecting allografts. Allografts with and without rejection showed insignificant differences in macrophage content on histopathology (p=0.44).After ferumoxytol administration, renal allografts undergoing acute rejection show prolonged T2* values compared to non-rejecting allografts. Since histology revealed no significant differences in macrophage content, the increasing T2* value is likely due to the combined effect of reduced perfusion and increased edema in rejecting allografts.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-017-1084-8

    View details for PubMedID 28411307

  • Bone marrow oedema predicts bone collapse in paediatric and adolescent leukaemia patients with corticosteroid-induced osteonecrosis. European radiology Theruvath, A. J., Sukerkar, P. A., Bao, S., Rosenberg, J., Luna-Fineman, S., Kharbanda, S., Daldrup-Link, H. E. 2017


    Corticosteroid treatment of paediatric leukaemia patients can lead to osteonecrosis (ON). We determined whether bone marrow oedema (BME) is an early sign of progressive ON and eventual bone collapse.In a retrospective study, two radiologists reviewed MR imaging characteristics of 47 early stage epiphyseal ON in 15 paediatric and adolescent leukaemia patients. Associations between BME on initial imaging studies and subchondral fracture, disease progression and bone collapse were assessed by Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel tests. Differences in time to progression and bone collapse between lesions with and without oedema were assessed by log rank tests.Forty-seven occurrences of ON were located in weight bearing joints, with 77% occurring in the femur. Seventeen lesions progressed to collapse, two lesions worsened without collapse, and 28 remained stable or improved. BME was significantly associated with subchondral fracture (p?=?0.0014), disease progression (p?=?0.0015), and bone collapse (p?

    View details for PubMedID 28726121

  • Whole-body PET/MRI of Pediatric Patients: The Details That Matter. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE Pareek, A., Muehe, A. M., Theruvath, A. J., Gulaka, P. K., Spunt, S. L., Daldrup-Link, H. E. 2017


    Integrated PET/MRI is a hybrid imaging technique enabling clinicians to acquire diagnostic images for tumor assessment and treatment monitoring with both high soft tissue contrast and added metabolic information. Integrated PET/MRI has shown to be valuable in the clinical setting and has many promising future applications. The protocol presented here will provide step-by-step instructions for the acquisition of whole-body 2-deoxy-2-(18F)fluoro-D-glucose (18F-FDG) PET/MRI data in children with cancer. It also provides instructions on how to combine a whole-body staging scan with a local tumor scan for evaluation of the primary tumor. The focus of this protocol is to be both comprehensive and time-efficient, which are two ubiquitous needs for clinical applications. This protocol was originally developed for children above 6 years, or old enough to comply with breath-hold instructions, but can also be applied to patients under general anesthesia. Similarly, this protocol can be modified to fit institutional preferences in terms of choice of MRI pulse sequences for both the whole-body scan and local tumor assessment.

    View details for PubMedID 29286486

  • How to Provide Gadolinium-Free PET/MR Cancer Staging of Children and Young Adults in Less than 1h: the Stanford Approach. Molecular imaging and biology : MIB : the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging Muehe, A. M., Theruvath, A. J., Lai, L., Aghighi, M., Quon, A., Holdsworth, S. J., Wang, J., Luna-Fineman, S., Marina, N., Advani, R., Rosenberg, J., Daldrup-Link, H. E. 2017


    To provide clinically useful gadolinium-free whole-body cancer staging of children and young adults with integrated positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance (PET/MR) imaging in less than 1h.In this prospective clinical trial, 20 children and young adults (11-30 years old, 6 male, 14 female) with solid tumors underwent 2-deoxy-2-[(18)F]fluoro-D-glucose ([(18)F]FDG) PET/MR on a 3T PET/MR scanner after intravenous injection of ferumoxytol (5mg Fe/kg) and [(18)F]FDG (2-3MBq/kg). Time needed for patient preparation, PET/MR image acquisition, and data processing was compared before (n=5) and after (n=15) time-saving interventions, using a Wilcoxon test. The ferumoxytol-enhanced PET/MR images were compared with clinical standard staging tests regarding radiation exposure and tumor staging results, using Fisher's exact tests.Tailored workflows significantly reduced scan times from 36 to 24min for head to mid thigh scans (p<0.001). These streamlined PET/MR scans were obtained with significantly reduced radiation exposure (mean 3.4mSv) compared to PET/CT with diagnostic CT (mean 13.1mSv; p=0.003). Using the iron supplement ferumoxytol "off label" as an MR contrast agent avoided gadolinium chelate administration. The ferumoxytol-enhanced PET/MR scans provided equal or superior tumor staging results compared to clinical standard tests in 17 out of 20 patients. Compared to PET/CT, PET/MR had comparable detection rates for pulmonary nodules with diameters of equal or greater than 5mm (94 vs. 100%), yet detected significantly fewer nodules with diameters of less than 5 mm (20 vs 100%) (p=0.03). [(18)F]FDG-avid nodules were detected with slightly higher sensitivity on the PET of the PET/MR compared to the PET of the PET/CT (59 vs 49%).Our streamlined ferumoxytol-enhanced PET/MR protocol provided cancer staging of children and young adults in less than 1h with equivalent or superior clinical information compared to clinical standard staging tests. The detection of small pulmonary nodules with PET/MR needs to be improved.

    View details for PubMedID 28721605

  • On the evaluation of segmentation editing tools. Journal of medical imaging (Bellingham, Wash.) Heckel, F., Moltz, J. H., Meine, H., Geisler, B., Kieling, A., D'Anastasi, M., Dos Santos, D. P., Theruvath, A. J., Hahn, H. K. 2014; 1 (3): 034005-?


    Efficient segmentation editing tools are important components in the segmentation process, as no automatic methods exist that always generate sufficient results. Evaluating segmentation editing algorithms is challenging, because their quality depends on the user's subjective impression. So far, no established methods for an objective, comprehensive evaluation of such tools exist and, particularly, intermediate segmentation results are not taken into account. We discuss the evaluation of editing algorithms in the context of tumor segmentation in computed tomography. We propose a rating scheme to qualitatively measure the accuracy and efficiency of editing tools in user studies. In order to objectively summarize the overall quality, we propose two scores based on the subjective rating and the quantified segmentation quality over time. Finally, a simulation-based evaluation approach is discussed, which allows a more reproducible evaluation without the need for human input. This automated evaluation complements user studies, allowing a more convincing evaluation, particularly during development, where frequent user studies are not possible. The proposed methods have been used to evaluate two dedicated editing algorithms on 131 representative tumor segmentations. We show how the comparison of editing algorithms benefits from the proposed methods. Our results also show the correlation of the suggested quality score with the qualitative ratings.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.JMI.1.3.034005

    View details for PubMedID 26158063

  • Targeting complement activation in brain-dead donors improves renal function after transplantation TRANSPLANT IMMUNOLOGY Damman, J., Hoeger, S., Boneschansker, L., Theruvath, A., Waldherr, R., Leuvenink, H. G., Ploeg, R. J., Yard, B. A., Seelen, M. A. 2011; 24 (4): 233-237


    Kidneys recovered from brain-dead donors have inferior outcomes after transplantation compared to kidneys from living donors. Since complement activation plays an important role in renal transplant related injury, targeting complement activation in brain-dead donors might improve renal function after transplantation. Brain death (BD) was induced in Fisher rats by inflation of an epidurally placed balloon catheter and ventilated for 6h. BD animals were treated with soluble complement receptor 1 (sCR1) 1h before or 1h after BD. Kidney transplantation was performed and 7 days after transplantation animals were sacrificed. Plasma creatinine and urea were measured at days 0, 1, 3, 5 and 7 after transplantation. Renal function was significantly better at day 1 after transplantation in recipients receiving a sCR1 pre-treated donor kidney compared to recipients of a non-treated donor graft. Also treatment with sCR1, 1h after the diagnosis of BD, resulted in a better renal function after transplantation. Gene expression of IL-6, IL-1beta and TGF-beta were significantly lower in renal allografts recovered from treated donors. This study shows that targeting complement activation, during BD in the donor, leads to an improved renal function after transplantation in the recipient.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.trim.2011.03.001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291287200007

    View details for PubMedID 21440065

  • Machine perfusion or cold storage in organ transplantation: indication, mechanisms, and future perspectives TRANSPLANT INTERNATIONAL Yuan, X., Theruvath, A. J., Ge, X., Floerchinger, B., Jurisch, A., Garcia-Cardena, G., Tullius, S. G. 2010; 23 (6): 561-570


    Most organs are currently preserved by cold storage (CS) prior to transplantation. However, as more so called marginal donor organs are utilized, machine perfusion has regained clinical interest. Recent studies have demonstrated advantages of pulsatile perfusion over CS preservation for kidney transplantation. However, it remains unclear whether there is a significant benefit of one preservation method over the other in general, or, whether the utilization of particular preservation approaches needs to be linked to organ characteristics. Proposed protective mechanisms of pulsatile perfusion remain largely obscure. It can be speculated that pulsatile perfusion may not only provide nutrition and facilitate the elimination of toxins but also trigger protective mechanisms leading to the amelioration of innate immune responses. Those aspects may be of particular relevance when utilizing grafts with suboptimal quality which may have an increased vulnerability to ischemia/reperfusion injury and compromised repair mechanisms. This review aims to enunciate the principles of organ perfusion and preservation as they relate to indication, aspects of organ protection and to highlight future developments.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1432-2277.2009.01047.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000277330500005

    View details for PubMedID 20074082

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