Detection and quantification of large-vessel inflammation with 11C-(R)-PK11195 PET/CT

Frederic Lamare, Rainer Hinz, Oliver Gaemperli, Francesca Pugliese, Justin C. Mason, Terence Spinks, Paolo G. Camici, Ornella E. Rimoldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated whether PET/CT angiography using 11C-(R)- PK11195, a selective ligand for the translocator protein (18 kDa) expressed in activated macrophages, could allow imaging and quantification of arterial wall inflammation in patients with large-vessel vasculitis. Methods: Seven patients with systemic inflammatory disorders (3 symptomatic patients with clinical suspicion of active vasculitis and 4 asymptomatic patients) underwent PET with 11C-(R)-PK11195 and CT angiography to colocalize arterial wall uptake of 11C-(R)-PK11195. Tissue regions of interest were defined in bone marrow, lung parenchyma, wall of the ascending aorta, aortic arch, and descending aorta. Blood-derived and image-derived input functions (IFs) were generated. A reversible 1-tissue compartment with 2 kinetic rate constants and a fractional blood volume term were used to fit the time-activity curves to calculate total volume of distribution (VT). The correlation between VT and standardized uptake values was assessed. Results: V T was significantly higher in symptomatic than in asymptomatic patients using both image-derived total plasma IF (0.55 ± 0.15 vs. 0.27 ± 0.12, P = 0.009) and image-derived parent plasma IF (1.40 ± 0.50 vs. 0.58 ± 0.25, P = 0.018). A good correlation was observed between VT and standardized uptake value (R = 0.79; P = 0.03). Conclusion: 11C-(R)-PK11195 imaging allows visualization of macrophage infiltration in inflamed arterial walls. Tracer uptake can be quantified with image-derived IF without the need for metabolite corrections and evaluated semiquantitatively with standardized uptake values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011


  • C-(R)-PK11195
  • Atherosclerosis
  • CT angiography
  • Large-vessel vasculitides
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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