Correlation Between Arterial FDG Uptake and Biomarkers in Peripheral Artery Disease

Study Questions:

Does glucose imaging track inflammatory characteristics of atherosclerosis in peripheral arteries?


Thirty patients underwent 18fluorine-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) imaging 2 weeks prior to femoral atherectomy for symptomatic disease. Immunohistochemistry was performed on the excised atherosclerotic plaque extracts, and cluster of differentiation 68 (CD68) level was analyzed as a measure of macrophage content.


There was no significant correlation between vessel wall glucose uptake measured by 18F-FDG and plaque CD68 levels.


The authors concluded that there were no significant correlations between CD68 (as a measure of macrophage content) and FDG uptake in the peripheral arteries in this multicenter study.


A biomarker predictive of site-specific vascular events could be extremely useful to risk-stratify patients and guide therapeutic interventions. Ruptured plaques are generally associated with increased macrophage content and activity, suggesting that heightened local inflammatory activity may predict plaque rupture at that site. Previous studies have shown that macrophages account for most FDG uptake in diseased arteries, and that FDG uptake in carotid arteries correlates with plaque macrophage content. However, based on the current study, FDG imaging may not be useful for peripheral arterial disease, although more studies are necessary.

Clinical Topics: Cardiac Surgery, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention, Noninvasive Imaging, Vascular Medicine, Atherosclerotic Disease (CAD/PAD), Aortic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery and Heart Failure, Heart Failure and Cardiac Biomarkers, Interventions and Imaging, Interventions and Vascular Medicine, Computed Tomography, Nuclear Imaging

Keywords: Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic, Atherosclerosis, Plaque, Atherosclerotic, Macrophages, Atherectomy, Diagnostic Imaging, Carotid Arteries, Risk Factors, Peripheral Arterial Disease, Positron-Emission Tomography, Glucose, Fluorodeoxyglucose F18, Immunohistochemistry, Biological Markers, Femur

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