Atherosclerosis exacts a large toll on society in the form of cardiovascular morbidity, mortality, and resource use and is exacerbated by the epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Consequently, there is a critical need for more-effective methods of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the complications of atherosclerosis. Careful and well-conducted large population studies are needed in order to truly understand the natural history of the disease, its imaging biomarkers, and their links to patient outcomes. The Canadian Atherosclerosis Imaging Network (CAIN) is a unique research network funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canada Foundation for Innovation and designed to address these needs and to enable large population-based imaging studies. The central objective of CAIN is to move innovations in imaging toward their broad application in clinical research and clinical practice for the improved evaluation of cardiac and neurologic vascular disease. CAIN is established as an international resource for studying the natural history, progression, and regression of atherosclerosis, as well as novel therapeutic interventions aimed at atherosclerosis. The network represents Canada's leading atherosclerosis imaging experts, embodying both basic imaging science and clinical imaging research. The network is improving methods of detection and treatment of atherosclerosis and, through a better understanding of the underlying disease itself, improving strategies for disease prevention. The benefits are expected to appear in the next 2 to 3 years. CAIN will drive innovation in imaging technology within the field of cardiology and neurology and improve health outcomes in Canada and worldwide.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prodigious efforts and landmark discoveries have led toward significant advances in our understanding of atherosclerosis. Despite significant efforts, atherosclerosis continues globally to be a leading cause of mortality and reduced quality of life. With surges in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes, atherosclerosis is expected to have an even more pronounced impact upon the global burden of disease. It is imperative to develop strategies for the early detection of disease. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging utilizing [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) may provide a non-invasive means of characterizing inflammatory activity within atherosclerotic plaque, thus serving as a surrogate biomarker for detecting vulnerable plaque. The aim of this review is to explore the rationale for performing FDG imaging, provide an overview into the mechanism of action, and summarize findings from the early application of FDG PET imaging in the clinical setting to evaluate vascular disease. Alternative imaging biomarkers and approaches are briefly discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac PET has evolved over the past 30 years to gain wider acceptance as a valuable modality for a variety of cardiac conditions. Wider availability of scanners as well as changes in reimbursement policies in more recent years has further increased its use. Moreover, with the emergence of novel radionuclides as well as further advances in scanner technology, the use of cardiac PET can be expected to increase further in both clinical practice and the research arena. PET has demonstrated superior diagnostic accuracy for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease in comparison with single-photon emission tomography while it provides robust prognostic value. The addition of absolute flow quantification increases sensitivity for 3-vessel disease as well as providing incremental functional and prognostic information. Metabolic imaging using (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose can be used to guide revascularization in the setting of heart failure and also to detect active inflammation in conditions such as cardiac sarcoidosis and within atherosclerotic plaque, improving our understanding of the processes that underlie these conditions. However, although the pace of new developments is rapid, there remains a gap in evidence for many of these advances and further studies are required.
Seminars in nuclear medicine 11/2013; 43(6):434-448. DOI:10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2013.06.001 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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