Time-to-time correlation of high-risk atherosclerotic lesions identified with [18F]-FDG-PET/CT

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Abstract

Objective

It has been shown that [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) can identify macrophage-rich high-risk atherosclerotic plaques in animal models as well as in patients with atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid arteries. The development of inflamed macrophage-rich plaques over time is not well known. This study was performed to determine the variability of such FDG-accumulating plaques between consecutive PET/CT examinations.

Methods

Twenty-eight patients who underwent two whole-body FDG-PET/CT examinations within 7 months for malignant diseases were re-evaluated for atherosclerotic lesions in major arterial segments. The plaques were identified as active, inactive, or mixed depending on their appearance on PET and CT. Every identified plaque was compared with that of the other examination to evaluate the time-to-time correlation.

Results

The time-to-time correlation was close to 100% for calcified inactive plaques and about 50% for FDG-accumulating active plaques, with a high consistency between all examined arterial segments in this material.

Conclusions

A large proportion of FDG-accumulating plaques can be identified on consecutive FDG-PET/CT examinations within 7 months.

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