Robert Kwee1, Robert van Oostenbrugge2, Werner Mess3, Rob van der Geest4, Cees Franke5, Hans ter Berg6, Arthur Korten7, Be Meems8, Gerrit Teule9, Jos van Engelshoven10, Joachim Wildberger10, Eline Kooi10
1Department of Radiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands; 2Department of Neurology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Netherlands; 3Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Netherlands; 4Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands; 5Department of Neurology, Atrium Medical Center Heerlen, Heerlen, Netherlands; 6Department of Neurology, Maasland Hospital Sittard, Sittard, Netherlands; 7Department of Neurology, Laurentius Hospital Roermond, Roermond, Netherlands; 8Department of Neurology, Vie Curi Medical Center, Venlo, Netherlands; 9Department of Nuclear Medicine, Maastricht University Medical center, Maastricht, Netherlands; 10Department of Radiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Netherlands
Noninvasive plaque imaging by 18F-FDG PET and MRI may be used to identify vulnerable plaques (i.e., plaques which have a high tendency to cause ischemic events). 18F-FDG PET is able to assess the severity of inflammation in carotid plaques, whereas MRI allows evaluation of morphological and compositional plaque characteristics. This study found no strong correlations between 18F-FDG PET and MRI-assessed morphological and compositional plaque characteristics. At present, 18F-FDG PET and MRI should be regarded as complementary (separate) imaging modalities. Future prospective longitudinal studies will determine whether 18F-FDG PET or MRI (or a combination) is most effective in identifying vulnerable plaques.