Statins contribute to stabilization of atherosclerotic plaques not only by reduction in circulating levels of atherogenic lipoproteins, but also by pleiotropic effects such as resolution of plaque inflammation. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) imaging, which is commonly employed for the detection of malignant tumors, has been recently shown to identify inflamed atherosclerotic lesions, and prospective studies have demonstrated close relationship between FDG uptake and the extent of vascular inflammation. The FDG uptake is highly reproducible. Use of statins abrogates FDG uptake, suggesting favorable effect on plaque inflammation. Recent demonstration of FDG uptake in coronary vessels suggests that detection of vulnerable plaques may become a possibility.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, molecular imaging, positron emission tomography, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor
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