PET, CT aid new method for predicting aortic rupture

Researchers used PET and CT imaging to analyze fluorine-18-sodium fluoride (18F-NaF) activity that may help clinicians improve predictions of whether abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are likely to grow more rapidly and ultimately rupture, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Currently, AAA surveillance involves serial measurements of aneurysm diameter, which are used to predict further expansion and guide clinician decisions on aneurysm repair, Cardiovascular Business reports. Researchers demonstrated that 18F-NaF—a marker of vascular calcification associated with atherosclerotic plaque—could add predictive value when assessed via PET and CT.

“18F-NaF uptake is a major predictor of aneurysm expansion and clinical outcome that is additive to standard clinical risk factors, including aneurysm diameter,” wrote lead author Rachael O. Forsythe, MD, with the British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science, and colleagues. “This is the first study to demonstrate that an imaging biomarker of disease activity can add to the risk prediction of AAA and to suggest that this approach might refine clinical decisions regarding the need for surgery and improve patient outcomes.”

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