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

Mikaela L. McKenney-Drake, Mateen C. Moghbel, Koosha Paydary, Mouhamad Alloosh, Sina Houshmand, Sharon Moe, Ali Salavati, Jeffrey M. Sturek, Paul R. Territo, Connie Weaver, Thomas J. Werner, Poul Flemming Høilund-Carlsen, Michael Sturek, Abass Alavi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2190-2200
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Calcification
  • Cardiovascular disease quantification
  • F-FDG
  • F-NaF
  • Global assessment of cardiac disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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