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04.03.2019 | Original Article

Examining the sensitivity of 18F-NaF PET for the imaging of cardiac amyloidosis

Journal of Nuclear Cardiology
MD, PhD Patrick Martineau, MSc Vincent Finnerty, MD Geneviève Giraldeau, B Eng Sébastien Authier, MD, PhD Francois Harel, MD, MSc Matthieu Pelletier-Galarneau
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Conventional nuclear imaging with bone-seeking radiopharmaceuticals has been shown to be a sensitive test for the detection of transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis (ATTR); however, to date, few data exist on the utility of 18F-sodium fluoride (NaF) positron emission tomography (PET) in subjects with cardiac amyloidosis (CA).


Myocardial perfusion imaging and cardiac 18F-NaF PET/CT of 7 subjects with ATTR, four with light-chain CA (AL), and four controls were retrospectively reviewed. Qualitative interpretation and quantitative analyses with average left ventricular standardized uptake values (SUVmean) and target-to-background ratios (TBRmean) were performed.


Average TBRmean was significantly increased in subjects with ATTR (0.98 ± 0.09) compared to AL (0.85 ± 0.08, P = .026) and CTL (0.82 ± 0.07, P = .020), while SUVmean was not (P = .14). Receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) analysis yielded an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.91, with a sensitivity/specificity of 75%/100% for TBRmean using a cutoff value of 0.89 for the diagnosis of ATTR. Qualitative interpretation resulted in a sensitivity/specificity of 57%/100% for ATTR.


While 18F-NaF PET/CT demonstrates good diagnostic accuracy for ATTR, particularly when using quantitative analysis, the low TBRmean values observed in ATTR indicate poor myocardial signal. 18F-NaF PET/CT is not yet ready for clinical use in CA until further comparison studies are performed with 99mTc-DPD/PYP.

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