Atherosclerotic burden has become the focus of cardiovascular risk assessment. PET/computed tomography (CT) imaging with the tracers 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose and 18F-sodium fluoride shows arterial wall inflammation and microcalcification, respectively. Arterial uptake of both tracers is modestly age dependent. 18F-sodium fluoride uptake is consistently associated with risk factors and more easily measured in the heart. Because of extremely high sensitivity, ultrashort acquisition, and minimal radiation to the patient, total-body PET/CT provides unique opportunities for atherosclerosis imaging: disease screening and delayed and repeat imaging with global disease scoring and parametric imaging to better characterize the atherosclerosis of individual patients.
- Total body