HELLENIC JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE, vol.16, no.3, pp.164-168, 2013 (SCI-Expanded)
Recent literature demonstrates the potential of fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (F-18-FDG-PET) to detect, localize, and quantify the degree of inflammatory changes in the arterial wall due to early atherosclerosis. Our aim was to assess the correlation between the age and F-18-FDG uptake of aortic segments and determine its correlation with respect to in both age and genders. Fluorine-18-FDG uptake in aortic segments in 143 subjects (58 men, 85 women; ages 5-82 years) was evaluated in this study. Subjects were initially grouped according to the gender, and then by age (below or above 50) with at least 26 subjects per group. Mean standardized uptake value (SUV) of ascending aorta, arch, descending thoracic aorta, and abdominal aortic segments were calculated in each subject. Correlative analyses between age and mean SUV of aortic segments in all subjects were undertaken. Mean SUV between genders for all groups were also compared. There was a positive correlation between age and mean SUV of all aortic segments. The correlation values in all aortic segments were higher in subjects below 50 years old compared to those above 50 years in the entire group of patients as well as when they were subdivided and analyzed according to both genders (P<0.001). Descending thoracic and ascending aortic segments in men below 50 years of age had the highest correlation of F-18-FDG uptake and age (0.85 and 0.80, respectively) whereas abdominal aortic segments in men the above 50 years age group had the lowest correlation value (0.20). Comparison between mean SUV in four visible arterial segments between the two genders did not reveal any statistically significant difference. In conclusion, F-18-FDG uptake in aortic segments increases with age irrespective of genders. The increase with age is more significant in younger subjects compared to older subjects for both men and women. This finding may indicate a deceleration in the inflammatory component of atherosclerosis with aging in older subjects.