DOI: 10.1007/s00259-018-4078-0Pages: 2190-2200

18F-NaF and 18F-FDG as molecular probes in the evaluation of atherosclerosis

1. Butler University, Department of Health Sciences

2. Stanford University Medical Center, Department of Radiology

3. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Radiology

4. Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology

5. Indiana University School of Medicine and Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center, Department of Medicine

6. University of Minnesota, Department of Radiology

7. University of Virginia, Department of Medicine

8. Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Radiology & Imaging Sciences

9. Purdue University, Department of Nutrition Science

10. Odense University Hospital, Department of Nuclear Medicine

Correspondence to:
Abass Alavi
Tel: 215-662-3069



The early detection of atherosclerotic disease is vital to the effective prevention and management of life-threatening cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarctions and cerebrovascular accidents. Given the potential for positron emission tomography (PET) to visualize atherosclerosis earlier in the disease process than anatomic imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT), this application of PET imaging has been the focus of intense scientific inquiry. Although 18F-FDG has historically been the most widely studied PET radiotracer in this domain, there is a growing body of evidence that 18F-NaF holds significant diagnostic and prognostic value as well. In this article, we review the existing literature on the application of 18F-FDG and 18F-NaF as PET probes in atherosclerosis and present the findings of original animal and human studies that have examined how well 18F-NaF uptake correlates with vascular calcification and cardiovascular risk.

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  • Accepted: Jun 21, 2018
  • Online: Jul 6, 2018

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