Measurement of 68Ga-DOTATOC Uptake in the Thoracic Aorta and Its Correlation with Cardiovascular Risk

Reeree Lee, Jihyun Kim, Jin Chul Paeng, Jung Woo Byun, Gi Jeong Cheon, Dong Soo Lee, June Key Chung, Keon Wook Kang

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Purpose: 68Ga-labeled 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N,N′,N″,N‴-tetraacetic acid-d-Phe1-Tyr3-octreotide (68Ga-DOTATOC) is taken up by activated macrophages, which accumulate in active inflammatory lesions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of 68Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT for assessment of vulnerable plaque, by evaluating correlation between aortic uptake of 68Ga-DOTATOC and cardiovascular risk factors. Methods: Fifty patients with neuroendocrine tumors who underwent 68Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT were retrospectively enrolled. The uptakes in the thoracic aorta were measured by two methods: multi-sample region-of-interest (ROI) method and single volume-of-interest (VOI) method. TBRmax-avg, TBRmean-avg, TBRmax-VOI, and TBRmean-VOI were defined by maximum and mean target-to-background ratio (TBR) from the multi-sample ROI method and the single VOI method, respectively. Results: Framingham risk score (FRS) exhibited significant correlations with TBRmax-avg and TBRmean-avg, as well as TBRmax-VOI (r = 0.3389–0.4593, P < 0.05 for all). TBRmax-avg and TBRmax-VOI were significantly higher in high FRS group than in low FRS group (1.48 ± 0.21 vs. 1.70 ± 0.17, P < 0.001 for TBRmax-avg and 1.90 ± 0.33 vs. 2.25 ± 0.36, P = 0.002 for TBRmax-VOI). TBR exhibited high correlations between the two measuring methods (r = 0.9684, P < 0.001 for TBRmean-avg and TBRmean-VOI and r = 0.8681, P < 0.001 for TBRmax-avg and TBRmax-VOI). Conclusions: 68Ga-DOTATOC uptake in the thoracic aorta exhibited a significant correlation with cardiovascular risk factors, which suggests the feasibility of 68Ga-DOTATOC PET for vulnerable plaque imaging, with a simple measurement of the single VOI method that is comparable to the multi-sample ROI-based approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • PET/CT

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