Current Cardiology Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 138-144

Imaging of Coronary Inflammation with FDG-PET: Feasibility and Clinical Hurdles

  • Ian S. RogersAffiliated withDivision of Cardiovascular Medicine, Falk Cardiovascular Research Center, Stanford University Email author 
  • , Ahmed TawakolAffiliated withCardiac MR PET CT Program, Division of Cardiology and Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

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Conventional algorithms and noninvasive imaging tests for the identification of stable, hemodynamically significant coronary artery disease offer little insight into the detection of potentially vulnerable and inflamed coronary plaques, those most likely to rupture and cause acute coronary syndromes. Positron emission tomography (PET) with fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) serves as a potential novel modality for the identification of plaque inflammation, as initial studies in animal and human studies have demonstrated that FDG uptake correlates with macrophage accumulation and inflammation. Therapy with anti-inflammatory agents has also been demonstrated in the arterial vasculature to reduce plaque FDG uptake. Although imaging of coronary inflammation with FDG-PET holds tremendous promise, several hurdles remain to be surmounted prior to widespread clinical application.


Atherosclerosis Coronary Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) Inflammation Positron Emission Tomography (PET)