Edinburgh Imaging

08 Jun 22. Featured Paper

Quantifying sodium [18F]fluoride uptake in abdominal aortic aneurysms

Link to paper on EJNMMI Research



Samuel Debono, Jennifer Nash, Alexander J. Fletcher, Maaz B. J. Syed, Scott I. Semple, Edwin J. R. van Beek, Alison Fletcher, Sebastien Cadet, Michelle C. Williams, Damini Dey, Piotr J. Slomka, Rachael O. Forsythe, Marc R. Dweck & David E. Newby



Background: Aortic microcalcification activity is a recently described method of measuring aortic sodium [18F]fluoride uptake in the thoracic aorta on positron emission tomography. In this study, we aimed to compare and to modify this method for use within the infrarenal aorta of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Methods: Twenty-five patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms underwent an sodium [18F]fluoride positron emission tomography and computed tomography scan. Maximum and mean tissue-to-background ratios (TBR) and abdominal aortic microcalcification activity were determined following application of a thresholding and variable radius method to correct for vertebral sodium [18F]fluoride signal spill-over and the nonlinear changes in aortic diameter, respectively. Agreement between the methods, and repeatability of these approaches were assessed.

Results: The aortic microcalcification activity method was much quicker to perform than the TBR method (14 versus 40 min, p < 0.001). There was moderate-to-good agreement between TBR and aortic microcalcification activity measurements for maximum (interclass correlation co-efficient, 0.67) and mean (interclass correlation co-efficient, 0.88) values. These correlations sequentially improved with the application of thresholding (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.93, 95% confidence interval 0.89–0.95) and variable diameter (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.97, 95% confidence interval 0.94–0.99) techniques. The optimised method had good intra-observer (mean 1.57 ± 0.42, bias 0.08, co-efficient of repeatability 0.36 and limits of agreement − 0.43 to 0.43) and inter-observer (mean 1.57 ± 0.42, bias 0.08, co-efficient of repeatability 0.47 and limits of agreement − 0.53 to 0.53) repeatability.

Conclusions: Aortic microcalcification activity is a quick and simple method which demonstrates good intra-observer and inter-observer repeatabilities and provides measures of sodium [18F]fluoride uptake that are comparable to established methods.





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Featured paper: Quantifying sodium [18F]fluoride uptake in abdominal aortic aneurysms

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