Evaluation of ammonia metabolism following carotid endarterectomy by PET imaging in human subjects

Research summary

Carotid artery plaques are a leading cause of ischemic stroke, and carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is one of the major treatment approaches for this disease. Changes in cerebral metabolism following CEA remain unclear. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of cerebral ammonia metabolism following CEA using 13N labeled ammonia positron emission tomography (PET) in humans. This is clinical study in human subjects. This is an international collaboration project. Since Turku PET Centre has very strong PET research experiences, we provides the research protocols to China. Partners in China performed clinical investigations based on our protocols. Furthermore, we performed data analysis and manuscript writing.


We have obtained a very interesting finding based this collaboration study. After carotid endarterectomy, cerebral blood flow was improved, but ammonia uptake by cerebral tissue is decreased both in ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres (operation side and non-operation side). Based on this finding, we have published a research paper as:

T. Wang, X Wang, Y He, T. Zhang, J Song, X. Bai and C. Han.: Decreased 13N-labeled ammonia uptake in the ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres following carotid endarterectomy. Mol Med Rep. 2015; in press.

Since the collaboration is very successful, we are planning to continue this project in the future. In the future, we will focus on the following fields: 1) dynamic 13N-ammonia PET study to get more accurate metabolic parameters. 2) animal study to explore the mechanism of decreased ammonia uptake in cerebral tissue following operation. 3) histoimmunechemical staining on carotid plaques.

Research info

Research title
Evaluation of ammonia metabolism following carotid endarterectomy by PET imaging in human subjects

Research timeline
1.6.2013 - 1.8.2017

ammoni carotid endarterectomy positron emission tomograph


China, Finland

Turku PET Centre
Turku, Finland

Funding instrument

Project budget
0 - 200,000 euros

Head of research
Chunlei Han

Research team
Tao Wang, Yulin He, Xia Bai, Xuemei Wang

Inner Mongolia Medical University Hospital, Peking University 3rd Hospital

Contact information
Chunlei Han

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