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PET: Imaging Biomarker for Large-Vessel Vasculitis

Arthritis Rheumatol; ePub 2017 Nov 16; Grayson, et al

18F-flurodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) provides information about vascular inflammation that is complimentary to, and unique from, clinical assessment in large-vessel vasculitis (LVV), a recent study found. Furthermore, FDG-PET scan activity during clinical remission was associated with future clinical relapse. Patients with Takayasu's arteritis (TAK) and giant cell arteritis (GCA) were studied, along with a comparator group consisting of patients with hyperlipidemia, diseases that mimic LVV, and healthy controls. Participants underwent clinical evaluation and FDG-PET imaging, and patients with LVV underwent serial imaging at 6-month intervals. 170 FDG-PET scans were performed in 115 participants (LVV=56; comparators=59). Researchers found:

  • FDG-PET differentiated patients with clinically active LVV and disease comparators with a sensitivity=85% and specificity=83%.
  • FDG-PET scans were interpreted as active vasculitis in most patients with LVV in clinical remission (41 of 71, 58%).
  • Clinical disease activity status, disease duration, body mass index, and glucocorticoid use were independently associated with PET scan activity.

Citation:

Grayson PC, Alehashemi S, Bagheri AA, et al. Positron emission tomography as an imaging biomarker in a prospective, longitudinal cohort of patients with large vessel vasculitis. [Published online ahead of print November 16, 2017]. Arthritis Rheumatol. doi:10.1002/art.40379.

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