18F-Fluoride PET for ID of Ruptured and High-Risk Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaques

Condition: Coronary artery disease


Key Inclusion Criteria

  • Asymptomatic patients who have high-risk plaque features

Key Exclusion Criteria

  • Patients under 18 years of age
  • Pregnancy
  • Allergy to iodine contrast agents

Full Study Name

18F-Fluoride (18F-NaF) Positron Emission Tomography (PET) for Identification of Ruptured and High-Risk Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaques (IRB no. 39453)


The purpose of this study is to determine if the use of 18F-Fluoride (18F-NaF), also known as sodium fluoride, with positron emission tomography (PET) has the ability to accurately identify inflamed coronary artery plaque— tissue buildup in the artery wall which is at risk to rupture and is the most common cause of heart attack.

Previous studies with bone scans have shown that sodium fluoride, a radioactive molecule, detects areas where calcium is being actively deposited. Sodium fluoride is the same molecule as the fluoride in toothpaste, which is taken up in the calcium of teeth. Early results have suggested that active depositing of calcium in the coronary arteries visualized by sodium fluoride occurs in areas of inflamed coronary plaque.

The use of sodium fluoride in this study is investigational because it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for cardiac imaging.

Principal Investigator

Daniel Berman, MD