Greater aortic inflammation and calcification in abdominal aortic aneurysmal disease than atherosclerosis: a prospective matched cohort study.


OBJECTIVE: Using combined positron emission tomography and CT (PET-CT), we measured aortic inflammation and calcification in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), and compared them with matched controls with atherosclerosis. METHODS: We prospectively recruited 63 patients (mean age 76.1±6.8 years) with asymptomatic aneurysm disease (mean size 4.33±0.73 cm) and 19 age-and-sex-matched patients with confirmed atherosclerosis but no aneurysm. Inflammation and calcification were assessed using combined 18F-FDG PET-CT and quantified using tissue-to-background ratios (TBRs) and Agatston scores. RESULTS: In patients with AAA, 18F-FDG uptake was higher within the aneurysm than in other regions of the aorta (mean TBRmax2.23±0.46 vs 2.12±0.46, p=0.02). Compared with atherosclerotic control subjects, both aneurysmal and non-aneurysmal aortae showed higher 18F-FDG accumulation (total aorta mean TBRmax2.16±0.51 vs 1.70±0.22, p=0.001; AAA mean TBRmax2.23±0.45 vs 1.68±0.21, p