Poster presenter: Bates Gribbons, McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Poster title: Association of Leukocyte Populations in Peripheral Blood and Arterial Wall Inflammation Assessed by FDG-PET in Takayasu’s Arteritis and Giant Cell Arteritis
Scheduled poster session day and time: Monday, Nov. 9, 9 – 11 a.m.
In general, what is your poster about?
We identified that absolute monocyte count was associated with vascular inflammation as measured by 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FGD-PET) in Takayasu’s arteritis and giant cell arteritis. These findings imply that monocytes contribute to vascular inflammation in these diseases.
Why did you decide to investigate this topic?
Patients with large-vessel vasculitis have inflammation in the large arteries that can be measured by FDG-PET. However, FDG is a marker of metabolic activity and is not necessarily a specific marker for inflammation. Since we do not have accompanying histology for most patients with large-vessel vasculitis, it is uncertain whether vascular PET scan signal is due to activated leukocytes in the arterial wall (i.e., vascular inflammation) or a non-specific signal due to vascular wall remodeling. We investigated whether circulating white blood cell populations were associated with FDG-PET activity, as an indirect way to determine if PET signal is driven by inflammation.
What are you working on next related to this poster?
Our study demonstrates that absolute monocyte count is associated with vascular PET activity in large-vessel vasculitis. We plan to investigate whether circulating monocyte-related biomarkers function as surrogates for vascular FDG-PET activity in these diseases.
What excites you most about your work?
Monitoring disease activity in large-vessel vasculitis can be difficult for physicians. Hopefully, our work will lead to objective tests that can complement clinical assessment in large-vessel vasculitis.