18F-FDG PET/CT detects clinical vulnerability in carotid atherosclerotic plaques

Kjersti Johnsrud aimed to find out if positron emission tomography (PET) with radiolabelled glucose (18F-FDG) is a reliable imaging modality to detect vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques.


  1. 18F-FDG PET/CT can detect inflammation and clinical vulnerability in large carotid atherosclerotic plaques.
  2. Quantification methods for 18F-FDG PET uptake in carotid artery plaque inflammation correlate with inflammation status.


Thesis: 18F-FDG PET imaging of atherosclerotic carotid stenosis
Candidate: Kjersti Johnsrud
Time: November 26, 2020 at 12:15
Place: Online-based solution, due to the covid-19 situation
Link to university website


(3) Symptomatic patients referred to surgical treatment for severe atherosclerotic carotid stenosis have higher carotid plaque uptake of 18F-FDG than asymptomatic patients. Uptake correlates significantly with inflammation.

(1/2) Several different methods for quantification of 18F-FDG uptake in carotid atherosclerotic plaques correlate well with each other and with  histological assessments of inflammation. Moreover, inter-reader variability of the different methods is low.

These studies include analyses from 43 patients with carotid artery stenosis ≥70%, and 30 plaques were assessed histologically following endarterectomy.


(1) Johnsrud, K., Skagen, K., Seierstad, T., Skjelland, M., Russell, D., & Revheim, M. E. (2019). 18 F-FDG PET/CT for the quantification of inflammation in large carotid artery plaquesJournal of Nuclear Cardiology26(3), 883-893.

(2) Johnsrud, K., Seierstad, T., Russell, D., & Revheim, M. E. (2019). Inter-reader agreement of 18F-FDG PET/CT for the quantification of carotid artery plaque inflammation. bioRxiv, 807420.

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