Ex vivo 18F-fluoride uptake and hydroxyapatite deposition in human coronary atherosclerosis

Alastair J Moss, Alisia Sim, Philip D Adamson, Michael A. Seidman, Jack Andrews, Mhairi Doris, Anoop Shah, Ralph Bouhaidar, Carlos José Alcaide-corral, Michelle C Williams, Jonathon A. Leipsic, Marc R Dweck, Vicky MacRae, David E Newby, Adriana A S Tavares, Stephanie L Sellers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early microcalcification is a feature of coronary plaques with an increased propensity to rupture and to cause acute coronary syndromes. In this ex vivo imaging study of coronary artery specimens, the non-invasive imaging radiotracer, 18F-fluoride, was highly selective for hydroxyapatite deposition in atherosclerotic coronary plaque. Specifically, coronary 18F-fluoride uptake had a high signal to noise ratio compared with surrounding myocardium that makes it feasible to identify coronary mineralisation activity. Areas of 18F-fluoride uptake are associated with osteopontin, an inflammation-associated glycophosphoprotein that mediates tissue mineralisation, and Runt-related transcription factor 2, a nuclear protein involved in osteoblastic differentiation. These results suggest that 18F-fluoride is a non-invasive imaging biomarker of active coronary atherosclerotic mineralisation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date19 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2020


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