Utility of 18 F-FDG and 11C-PBR28 microPET for the assessment of rat aortic aneurysm inflammation

Sean J. English, Jose A. Diaz, Xia Shao, David Gordon, Melissa Bevard, Gang Su, Peter K. Henke, Virginia E. Rogers, Gilbert R. Upchurch, Morand Piert

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11 Scopus citations


Background: The utility of 18 F-FDG and 11C-PBR28 to identify aortic wall inflammation associated with abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) development was assessed. Methods: Utilizing the porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE) perfusion model, abdominal aortas of male Sprague-Dawley rats were infused with active PPE (APPE, AAA; N = 24) or heat-inactivated PPE (IPPE, controls; N = 16). Aortic diameter increases were monitored by ultrasound (US). Three, 7, and 14 days after induction, APPE and IPPE rats were imaged using 18 F-FDG microPET (approximately 37 MBq IV) and compared with 18 F-FDG autoradiography (approximately 185 MBq IV) performed at day 14. A subset of APPE (N = 5) and IPPE (N = 6) animals were imaged with both 11C-PBR28 (approximately 19 MBq IV) and subsequent 18 F-FDG (approximately 37 MBq IV) microPET on the same day 14 days post PPE exposure. In addition, autoradiography of the retroperitoneal torso was performed after 11C-PBR28 (approximately 1,480 MBq IV) or 18 F-FDG (approximately 185 MBq IV) administration at 14 days post PPE exposure. Aortic wall-to-muscle ratios (AMRs) were determined for microPET and autoradiography. CD68 and translocator protein (TSPO) immunohistochemistry (IHC), as well as TSPO gene expression assays, were performed for validation. Results: Mean 3 (p = 0.009), 7 (p < 0.0001) and 14 (p < 0.0001) days aortic diameter increases were significantly greater for APPE AAAs compared to IPPE controls. No significant differences in 18 F-FDG AMR were determined at days 3 and 7 post PPE exposure; however, at day 14, the mean 18 F-FDG AMR was significantly elevated in APPE AAAs compared to IPPE controls on both microPET (p = 0.0002) and autoradiography (p = 0.02). Similarly, mean 11C-PBR28 AMR was significantly increased at day 14 in APPE AAAs compared to IPPE controls on both microPET (p = 0.04) and autoradiography (p = 0.02). For APPE AAAs, inhomogeneously increased 18 F-FDG and 11C-PBR28 uptake was noted preferentially at the anterolateral aspect of the AAA. Compared to controls, APPE AAAs demonstrated significantly increased macrophage cell counts by CD68 IHC (p = 0.001) as well as increased TSPO staining (p = 0.004). Mean TSPO gene expression for APPE AAAs was also significantly elevated compared to IPPE controls (p = 0.0002). Conclusion: Rat AAA wall inflammation can be visualized using 18 F-FDG and 11C-PBR28 microPET revealing regional differences of radiotracer uptake on microPET and autoradiography. These results support further investigation of 18 F-FDG and 11C-PBR28 in the noninvasive assessment of human AAA development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalEJNMMI Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • C-PBR28
  • F-FDG
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophage
  • Positron emission tomography


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