Identifying active vascular microcalcification by 18F-sodium fluoride positron emission tomography

Irkle, A. et al. (2015) Identifying active vascular microcalcification by 18F-sodium fluoride positron emission tomography. Nature Communications, 6, 7495. (doi: 10.1038/ncomms8495) (PMID:26151378) (PMCID:PMC4506997)

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Vascular calcification is a complex biological process that is a hallmark of atherosclerosis. While macrocalcification confers plaque stability, microcalcification is a key feature of high-risk atheroma and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Positron emission tomography and X-ray computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging of atherosclerosis using 18F-sodium fluoride (18F-NaF) has the potential to identify pathologically high-risk nascent microcalcification. However, the precise molecular mechanism of 18F-NaF vascular uptake is still unknown. Here we use electron microscopy, autoradiography, histology and preclinical and clinical PET/CT to analyse 18F-NaF binding. We show that 18F-NaF adsorbs to calcified deposits within plaque with high affinity and is selective and specific. 18F-NaF PET/CT imaging can distinguish between areas of macro- and microcalcification. This is the only currently available clinical imaging platform that can non-invasively detect microcalcification in active unstable atherosclerosis. The use of 18F-NaF may foster new approaches to developing treatments for vascular calcification.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lewis, Dr David
Authors: Irkle, A., Vesey, A. T., Lewis, D. Y., Skepper, J. N., Bird, J. L.E., Dweck, M. R., Joshi, F. R., Gallagher, F. A., Warburton, E. A., Bennett, M. R., Brindle, K. M., Newby, D. E., Rudd, J. H., and Davenport, A. P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Ltd
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 6(1):7495
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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