Author + information
- Received June 16, 2005
- Revision received October 10, 2005
- Accepted November 16, 2005
- Published online April 18, 2006.
- John R. Davies, BSc, MBBS, MRCP⁎,
- James H.F. Rudd, PhD, MRCP†,
- Peter L. Weissberg, MD, FRCP⁎,⁎ ( and )
- Jagat Narula, MD, PhD, FACC‡
- ↵⁎Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Peter L. Weissberg, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Box 110, Level 6 ACCI, Addenbrookes Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, United Kingdom
Imaging of atheromatous plaques has traditionally centered on assessing the degree of luminal stenosis. More recently it has become clear that the vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques responsible for the majority of life-threatening syndromes are characterized by high numbers of inflammatory cells and proteins. This has highlighted the urgent need for suitable imaging techniques that can identify and quantify levels of inflammation within atheromatous lesions. Positron emission tomography and single-photon emission computed tomography imaging hold promise in this regard. Tracer compounds capable of assessing macrophage recruitment, foam cell generation, matrix metalloproteinase production, macrophage apoptosis, and macrophage metabolism have been developed and tested in the carotid and peripheral circulation. The identification of inflamed lesions within the coronary circulation, however, remains elusive owing to small plaque size, cardiac and respiratory motion, and lack of a suitable specific nuclear tracer.
Work of Drs. Davies and Weissberg is supported by grants from the British Heart Foundation. Dr. William A. Zoghbi acted as guest editor.
- Received June 16, 2005.
- Revision received October 10, 2005.
- Accepted November 16, 2005.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation
- The principles of nuclear imaging in relation to imaging of atherosclerosis
- The biology of plaque inflammation
- Imaging of monocyte recruitment
- Imaging of lipoprotein phagocytosis and foam cell generation
- Imaging of plaque MMP
- Imaging macrophage stress and apoptosis in atherosclerotic plaque
- Imaging of plaque macrophage activity with fluorine-18–labeled deoxyglucose PET