What can we learn about valvular heart disease from PET/CT?

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Abstract

Valvular heart disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, and with an aging population, its prevalence is increasing. Here, we review the evolving use of positron emission tomography/computed tomography in valvular heart disease, with particular focus on calcific aortic stenosis and infective endocarditis. In principle, the activity of any pathological process can be studied, as long as an appropriate radiotracer can be developed. We will review some of the early data using established tracers in the above and other conditions, providing discussion as to the future research and clinical roles of these techniques. Furthermore, we will discuss the potential impact of novel tracers that are currently under development or testing in preclinical models. It is hoped that such advanced imaging might improve the diagnosis, treatment and outlook for patients with valvular heart disease.

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