Feasibility of 11C-acetate PET/CT for imaging of fatty acid synthesis in the atherosclerotic vessel wall

Thorsten Derlin, Christian R. Habermann, Zsolt Lengyel, Jasmin D. Busch, Christian Wisotzki, Janos Mester, László Pávics

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Fatty acids are a common constituent of atherosclerotic plaque and may be synthesized in the plaque itself. Fatty acid synthesis requires acetyl-coenzyme-A (CoA) as a main substrate, which is produced from acetate. Currently, 11C-acetate PET/CT is used for the evaluation of malignancies. There are no data concerning its potential for the characterization of atherosclerotic plaque. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to examine the prevalence, distribution, and topographic relationship of arterial 11C-acetate uptake and vascular calcification in major arteries. Methods: Thirty-six patients were examined by wholebody 11C-acetate PET/CT. Tracer uptake in various arterial segments was analyzed both qualitatively and semiquantitatively by measuring the blood-pool-corrected standardized uptake value (target-to-background ratio). CT images were used to measure calcified plaque burden. Results: 11C-acetate uptake was observed at 220 sites in 32 (88.8%) of the 36 study patients, and mean target-to-background ratio was 2.5 ± 1.0. Calcified atherosclerotic lesions were observed at 483 sites in 30 (83.3%) patients. Sixty-four (29.1%) of the 220 lesions with marked 11C- acetate uptake were colocalized with arterial calcification. However, only 13.3% of all arterial calcification sites demonstrated increased radiotracer accumulation. Conclusion: Our data indicate the feasibility of using 11C-acetate PET/CT for imaging of fatty acid synthesis in the atherosclerotic vessel wall. This study provides a rationale to incorporating 11C-acetate PET into further preclinical and clinical studies to obtain new insights into fatty acid synthesis in atherosclerotic lesions and to evaluate whether it may be used to monitor pharmacologic intervention with fatty acid synthase inhibitors. COPYRIGHT

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1848-1854
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Atherosclerosis
  • C-acetate
  • Calcification
  • Cardiovascular
  • Fatty acid synthase
  • PET/CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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