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Positron emission tomography (PET) with 18F-sodium fluoride (18F-NaF) has emerged as a promising non-invasive imaging modality to identify high-risk and ruptured atherosclerotic plaques. By visualizing microcalcification, 18F-NaF PET holds clinical promise in refining how we evaluate coronary artery disease, shifting our focus from assessing disease burden to atherosclerosis activity. In this review, we provide an overview of studies that have utilized 18F-NaF PET for imaging atherosclerosis. We discuss the associations between traditional coronary artery disease measures (risk factors) and 18F-NaF plaque activity. We also present the data on the histological validation as well as show how 18F-NaF uptake is associated with plaque morphology on intravascular and CT imaging. Finally, we discuss the technical challenges associated with 18F-NaF coronary PET highlighting recent advances in this area.

Original publication




Journal article


Br j radiol

Publication Date





Computed Tomography Angiography, Coronary Artery Disease, Fluorine Radioisotopes, Humans, Movement, Organ Motion, Plaque, Atherosclerotic, Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography, Positron-Emission Tomography, Radiopharmaceuticals, Risk Factors, Sodium Fluoride, Sodium Radioisotopes, Vascular Calcification