Repository logo

$^{18}$F-Fluoride and $^{18}$F-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography After Transient Ischemic Attack or Minor Ischemic Stroke: Case-Control Study.

Published version



Change log


Vesey, AT 
Jenkins, WSA 
Irkle, A 
Moss, A 
Sng, G 


BACKGROUND: Combined positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) can assess both anatomy and biology of carotid atherosclerosis. We sought to assess whether 18F-fluoride or 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose can identify culprit and high-risk carotid plaque.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed 18F-fluoride and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT in 26 patients after recent transient ischemic attack or minor ischemic stroke: 18 patients with culprit carotid stenosis awaiting carotid endarterectomy and 8 controls without culprit carotid atheroma. We compared standardized uptake values in the clinically adjudicated culprit to the contralateral asymptomatic artery, and assessed the relationship between radiotracer uptake and plaque phenotype or predicted cardiovascular risk (ASSIGN score [Assessing Cardiovascular Risk Using SIGN Guidelines to Assign Preventive Treatment]). We also performed micro PET/CT and histological analysis of excised plaque. On histological and micro PET/CT analysis, 18F-fluoride selectively highlighted microcalcification. Carotid 18F-fluoride uptake was increased in clinically adjudicated culprit plaques compared with asymptomatic contralateral plaques (log10 standardized uptake valuemean 0.29±0.10 versus 0.23±0.11, P=0.001) and compared with control patients (log10 standardized uptake valuemean 0.29±0.10 versus 0.12±0.11, P=0.001). 18F-Fluoride uptake correlated with high-risk plaque features (remodeling index [r=0.53, P=0.003], plaque burden [r=0.51, P=0.004]), and predicted cardiovascular risk [r=0.65, P=0.002]). Carotid 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake appeared to be increased in 7 of 16 culprit plaques, but no overall differences in uptake were observed in culprit versus contralateral plaques or control patients. However, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose did correlate with predicted cardiovascular risk (r=0.53, P=0.019), but not with plaque phenotype.

CONCLUSIONS: 18F-Fluoride PET/CT highlights culprit and phenotypically high-risk carotid plaque. This has the potential to improve risk stratification and selection of patients who may benefit from intervention.



carotid stenosis, fluorides, inflammation, nuclear medicine, phenotype, stroke

Journal Title

Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



American Heart Association
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/N014588/1)
British Heart Foundation (None)
British Heart Foundation (None)
Dr Vesey and the study were funded by program grants from the British Heart Foundation (PG12/8/29371) and Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (R13/A147). Dr Jenkins, Vesey, Dweck, and Newby are supported by the British Heart Foundation (FS/14/78/31020, CH/09/002) and the Wellcome Trust (WT103782AIA). Dr Dweck is the recipient of the Sir Jules Thorn Biomedical Research Award 2015. The Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility and the Clinical Research Imaging Centre are supported by National Health Service (NHS) Research Scotland (NRS) through NHS Lothian. Dr Beek is supported by the Scottish Imaging Network—a Platform of Scientific Excellence (SINAPSE). Dr Rudd is part-supported by the National Institute for Health Research Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, the British Heart Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust.