FDG atrial uptake is associated with an increased prevalence of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia and is associated with an increased risk of stroke. Indeed, silent AF is frequently identified in unexplained ischemic stroke. 18F-FDG-PET/CT is a powerful tool for assessing myocardial metabolic shift and inflammation, both potentially at stake in AF. This case–control study investigated whether AF could promote FDG uptake in atria after physiological myocardial glucose uptake suppression, and the potential relationship between FDG atrial uptake and prevalence of stroke.
We retrospectively enrolled 128 patients (64 consecutive patients with AF and 64 without AF as the control group, matched for age and sex) who underwent 18F-FDG-PET/CT after a high-fat low-carbohydrate diet. We analyzed visual and quantitative FDG uptake parameters of the right and left atria (RA/LA) and the right and left appendages (RAA/LAA), and selected clinical features including history of stroke.
Diffuse right atrial uptake was present in a third of patients with AF and only two patients in the control group. FDG uptake intensity of both atria was significantly associated with the underlying heart rhythm. The occurrence of stroke was strongly associated with detectable atrial uptake in multivariate analysis, with an odds ratio superior to that of other known risk factors.
This study shows a significant correlation between FDG atrial uptake and AF. While inconsistent, this pattern seems to be associated with an increased prevalence of cardioembolic stroke.
KeywordsAtrial fibrillation Stroke Positron emission tomography (PET) FDG Inflammation
No funding was received for this work.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Ethics approval and consent
The institutional review board of Bichat Hospital approved this study, and all subjects gave informed consent for review of their records.
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