The use of yttrium in medical imaging and therapy: historical background and future perspectives
Yttrium is a chemically versatile rare earth element that finds use in a range of applications including lasers and superconductors. In medicine, yttrium-based materials are used in medical lasers and biomedical implants. This is extended through the array of available yttrium isotopes to enable roles for 90Y complexes as radiopharmaceuticals and 86Y tracers for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. The naturally abundant isotope 89Y is proving to be suitable for nuclear magnetic resonance investigations, where initial reports in the emerging field of hyperpolarised magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are promising. In this review we explore the coordination and radiochemical properties of yttrium, and its role in drugs for radiotherapy, PET imaging agents and perspectives for applications in hyperpolarised MRI.