Imaging Inflammation in Patients and Animals: Focus on PET Imaging the Vulnerable Plaque

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) describes a range of conditions associated with the rupture of high-risk or vulnerable plaque. Vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque is associated with many changes in its microenvironment which could potentially cause rapid plaque progression. Present-day PET imaging presents a plethora of radiopharmaceuticals designed to image different characteristics throughout plaque progression. Improved knowledge of atherosclerotic disease pathways has facilitated a growing number of pathophysiological targets for more innovative radiotracer design aimed at identifying at-risk vulnerable plaque and earlier intervention opportunity. This paper reviews the efficacy of PET imaging radiotracers 18F-FDG, 18F-NaF, 68Ga-DOTATATE, 64Cu-DOTATATE and 68Ga-pentixafor in plaque characterisation and risk assessment, as well as the translational potential of novel radiotracers in animal studies. Finally, we discuss our murine PET imaging experience and the challenges encountered.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2021


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