PET/CT imaging with18F-FDG has been used to detect inflammation in carotid and aortic plaque; its use in detecting coronary plaque has been limited by avid18F-FDG uptake by the myocardium. We investigated whether18F-FDG PET/CT could be used to image inflammation in coronary arteries as a potential noninvasive method to detect vulnerable plaque. Methods: We retrospectively studied 32 patients treated for malignancy who underwent18F-FDG PET/CT and concomitant cardiac catheterization. As part of the recently described protocol, all patients were instructed to eat a low-carbohydrate, high-fat meal the night before and drink a vegetable oil drink the morning of the study. We reviewed the patients' baseline characteristics and their18F-FDG PET/CT scans for adequacy of myocardial uptake suppression and correlated the presence of angiographically apparent plaque with18F-FDG uptake in the major coronary arteries. Two independent observers assessed the angiographic images and18F-FDG PET scans. Results: A total of 95% of patients had 2 or more coronary disease risk factors, and 25% had unstable symptoms; 30% of index catheterizations resulted in intervention. In 20 of 32 patients (63%), myocardial suppression was good (12) or adequate (8). Inadequate suppression was due to self-reported dietary nonadherence. Patients with good, adequate, and poor suppression had maximal myocardial standardized uptake values of 2.8 ± 0.7, 5.0 ± 1.3, and 17.0 ± 9.7, respectively. We identified18F-FDG uptake in 15 patients in 1 or more coronary segments. A trend to significance in correlation between presence of angiographic disease and signal in the vessel was observed (P=0.07; 80 vessels examined). A total of 7 patients with significant coronary artery disease had aortic18F-FDG uptake. Conclusion: In this retrospective study, we demonstrated the potential use of18F-FDG PET in imaging of inflammation in coronary arteries. The potential of18F-FDG PET is also being investigated in a prospective study. COPYRIGHT

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The Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wykrzykowska, J.J, Lehman, S, Williams, G, Parker, J.A, Palmer, M.R, Varkey, S, … Laham, R. (2009). Imaging of inflamed and vulnerable plaque in coronary arteries with 18F-FDG PET/CT in patients with suppression of myocardial uptake using a low-carbohydrate, high-fat preparation. The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 50(4), 563–568. doi:10.2967/jnumed.108.055616