Nuclear imaging will play an increasing role in both the detection of atherosclerosis (coronary heart disease) and, more specifically, the composition of plaque build up that can block the flow of blood through an artery, according to journal reports published by the Society of Nuclear Medicine.
A trio of articles, "Evaluation of 18F-FDG Uptake and Arterial Wall Calcifications Using 18F-FDG PET/CT," "Molecular and Metabolic Imaging of Atherosclerosis" and "Noninvasive Imaging of Atherosclerosis: The Biology Behind the Pictures," appears in the November 2004 issue of "The Journal of Nuclear Medicine."
Heart disease, in the news recently because of former President Bill Clintons quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to SNM members Simona Ben-Haim, M.D., and Ora Israel, M.D., "combined positron emission tomography and computed tomography may be helpful in the detection of early abnormalities in the arterial wall." They said, "These abnormalities may be the cause of future severe cardiovascular events … the PET/CT scan may be potentially useful in early detection of disease, prevention, monitoring response to therapy and prognosis." This preliminary study, which took more than three years, could establish a role for nuclear medicine as a noninvasive imaging tool for atherosclerosis, providing both functional and anatomical information. The results of the study, one of the first of its kind, are detailed in "Evaluation of 18F-FDG Uptake and Arterial Wall Calcifications Using 18F-FDG PET/CT." While the results are exciting, the two authors said that more research is needed "to confirm our results and lead to the understanding of their clinical significance."
Maryann Verrillo | EurekAlert!
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