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07.08.2018 | Original Article Open Access

Factors relevant to atrial 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake in atrial fibrillation

Journal of Nuclear Cardiology
MD Boqia Xie, MD Bi-Xi Chen, MD Jiao-Yan Wu, MD Xingpeng Liu, MD Min-Fu Yang
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12350-018-1387-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors of this article have provided a PowerPoint file, available for download at SpringerLink, which summarises the contents of the paper and is free for re-use at meetings and presentations. Search for the article DOI on
Boqia Xie and Bi-Xi Chen have contributed equally to this work and are co-first authors.



This retrospective study was designed to explore the factors relevant to increased atrial 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) who had undergone routine whole-body positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging.

Methods and Results

Forty-eight consecutive AF patients (32 persistent, 16 paroxysmal) were identified from our routine FDG PET/CT database. Twenty-two control subjects were selected to establish the normal range of FDG uptake (maximum standardized uptake value, SUVmax) in target tissues. A target-to-background ratio (TBR) was calculated to determine abnormal uptake in the atrium and atrial appendage (AA). Univariate comparisons and multivariate regression analyses were conducted to explore the factors associated with the increased FDG accumulation in the atrium and AA. Seventeen AF patients, all with persistent AF, had increased atrial FDG uptake. Most of them (14, or 82.4%) had increased uptake in the right atrium. Eleven AF patients, 9 with persistent AF, had increased uptake in the AA, and bilateral AAs were equally involved. Multivariate logistic regression analyses identified that female gender, persistent AF, and activity in epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) were independent factors predicting the increased activity of the atrium; also, SUVmax of the left ventricle was found for the AA. In addition, multivariate linear regression analyses showed that EAT activity was the only independent variable linearly correlated with the activity of the atrium and AA.


Atrial uptake was present in persistent AF and localized mainly in the right atrium, whereas bilateral AAs could be equally involved. Multiple factors contributed to the increased activity in atrium; in particular, the EAT activity was independently correlated with the activity of the atrium and AA.

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