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J Nucl Med. 2010 Feb;51(2):193-7. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.109.070672. Epub 2010 Jan 15.

In vivo imaging of macrophage activity in the coronary arteries using 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT: correlation with coronary calcium burden and risk factors.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Munich, Munich, Germany.


We measured the uptake of the somatostatin receptor ligand (68)Ga-[1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N,N',N'',N'''-tetraacetic acid]-D-Phe(1),Tyr(3)-octreotate (DOTATATE) in the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) in association with calcified plaques (CPs) and cardiovascular risk factors.


Seventy consecutive tumor patients were examined by whole-body (68)Ga-DOTATATE contrast-enhanced PET/CT. Blood-pool-corrected standardized uptake value (target-to-background ratio) was measured in the LAD, and CT images were used to detect CP. Cardiovascular risk factors and history of prior cardiovascular events were recorded.


(68)Ga-DOTATATE uptake was detectable in the LAD of all patients. Target-to-background ratio in the LAD correlated significantly with the presence of CP (R = 0.34; P < 0.01), prior vascular events (R = 0.26; P < 0.05), and male sex (R = 0.29; P < 0.05), whereas CP correlated with these parameters but also with age (R = 0.34; P < 0.01) and hypertension (R = 0.25; P < 0.05).


In a series of oncologic patients, those with prior cardiovascular events and calcified atherosclerotic plaques showed significantly increased (68)Ga-DOTATATE uptake in the LAD, suggesting a potential role of this tracer for plaque imaging in the coronary arteries.

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