The utility of beta-hydroxybutyrate in detecting myocardial glucose uptake suppression in patients undergoing inflammatory [18F]-FDG PET studies

Moath Said Alfawara, Ahmed Ibrahim Ahmed, Jean Michel Saad, Yushui Han, Fares Alahdab, Mahmoud Al Rifai, Mahwash Kassi, Talal Alnabelsi, William A. Zoghbi, Mouaz H. Al-Mallah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: We evaluated whether serum beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) can identify adequate suppression of the left ventricle (LV) among patients undergoing [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ([18F]-FDG PET) for cardiac inflammatory/infectious studies.

METHODS: Consecutive patients who underwent [18F]-FDG PET imaging were included. Serum BHB levels were measured in all patients on the day of imaging prior to injecting [18F]-FDG. Myocardial [18F]-FDG suppression was defined if [18F]-FDG uptake in the walls of myocardium, measured using standardized uptake values (SUV), was lower than the blood pool. The optimal threshold of BHB to identify myocardial suppression was based on receiver operating characteristics (ROC) in a random 30% sample of the study population (derivation cohort) and tested in the remaining 70% of sample (validation cohort).

RESULTS: A total of 256 images from 220 patients were included. Patients with sufficient LV suppression had significantly higher BHB levels compared to those with non-suppressed myocardium (median (IQR) BHB 0.6 (0.3-0.8) vs. 0.2 (0.2-0.3) mmol/l, p < 0.001, respectively). BHB level ≥ 0.335 mmol/l had a sensitivity of 84.90% and a specificity of 92.60% to identify adequate LV suppression in the validation cohort. All patients (100%) with BHB ≥ 0.41 mmol/l had adequate myocardial suppression compared to 29.63% of patients with BHB ≤ 0.20 mmol/l.

CONCLUSION: Serum BHB level can be used at the point of care to identify sufficient LV suppression in patients undergoing [18F]-FDG PET cardiac inflammatory/infectious studies. Central illustration (image to the right) shows representative cases of patient images and BHB and, in the image to the left, shows the sensitivity and specificity to identify left myocardial suppression using BHB in validation group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1103-1110
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Beta-hydroxybutyrate
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose
  • Inflammation
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Humans
  • Heart Diseases
  • Myocardium
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Positron-Emission Tomography/methods
  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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