Imaging of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) by positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) hybrid systems allows detecting arterial FDG foci, which relate to inflammatory and presumably unstable atherosclerosis, and is increasingly used in cancer patients among whom many are at risk for ischemic events. However, the link between an enhanced arterial FDG uptake and subsequent ischemic events remains to be clearly established. This pilot study aimed at determining whether the prior arterial FDG uptake in cancer patients presenting a subsequent stroke was higher than that of stroke-free controls.
Patients referred to FDG PET/CT for conventional oncologic indications were retrospectively included and compared between: (i) 7 case-patients with subsequent hospitalizations for documented ischemic stroke and (ii) 16 event-free controls, matched to the case-patients according to age, gender, and cancer site.
Stroke was related with previous arterial FDG foci when detected on the aortic arch (stroke patients, 86% vs. Controls, 31%; P = 0.03) and especially on carotid bifurcations (stroke patients, 71% vs. Controls, 6%; P = 0.006); and among the 5 case-patients with stroke from carotid territory, 4 (80%) had FDG foci on ipsilateral carotid bifurcations.
This pilot study shows that the previous detection of FDG foci on aortic arch and especially on carotid bifurcations of cancer patients is associated with the risk of subsequent ischemic stroke. A further confirmation on larger populations is needed.
From the *Department of Nuclear Medicine, CHU-Nancy, F-54000, Nancy, France; †Faculté de Médecine, Nancy Université, F-54000, Nancy, France; ‡Medical Informatics, Centre Alexis Vautrin, F-54500, Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, France; §INSERM, U947, F-54000, Nancy, France; ¶Department of Radiology, CHU-Nancy, F-54000, Nancy, France; ∥INSERM, U961, F-54000, Nancy, France; **Department of Vascular Medicine, CHU-Nancy, F-54000, Nancy, France; and ††INSERM, U9501, Centre d'Investigation Clinique, F-54000, Nancy, France.
Received for publication April 15, 2010; revision accepted August 12, 2010.
Reprints: Solène Grandpierre, MD, Service de Médecine Nucléaire, CHU-Nancy, Hôpital de Brabois, Allée du Morvan, 54511 Vandœuvre Cedex, France. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.