J Lipid Atheroscler.  2020 Sep;9(3):349-361. 10.12997/jla.2020.9.3.349.

An Update on [18F]Fluoride PET Imaging for Atherosclerotic disease

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of life-threatening morbidity and mortality, as the rupture of atherosclerotic plaques leads to critical atherothrombotic events such as myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke, which are the 2 most common causes of death worldwide. Vascular calcification is a complicated pathological process involved in atherosclerosis, and microcalcifications are presumed to increase the likelihood of plaque rupture. Despite many efforts to develop novel non-invasive diagnostic modalities, diagnostic techniques are still limited, especially before symptomatic presentation. From this point of view, vulnerable plaques are a direct target of atherosclerosis imaging. Anatomic imaging modalities have the limitation of only visualizing macroscopic structural changes, which occurs in later stages of disease, while molecular imaging modalities are able to detect microscopic processes and microcalcifications, which occur early in the disease process. Na[ 18 F]-fluoride positron emission tomography/computed tomography could allow the early detection of plaque instability, which is deemed to be a primary goal in the prevention of cardiac or brain ischemic events, by quantifying the microcalcifications within vulnerable plaques and evaluating the atherosclerotic disease burden.

Keyword

Atherosclerosis; Sodium fluoride; Positron emission tomography; PET-CT
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