Clinical Nuclear Medicine

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Clinical Nuclear Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/RLU.0b013e31825b23c0
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False-Positive FDG PET/CT Due to Liver Parenchymal Injury Caused By a Surgical Retractor

Lyall, Ashima MD*; Ulaner, Gary A. MD, PhD*†

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From the *Department of Radiology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and †Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY.

Received for publication February 6, 2012; revision accepted March 13, 2012.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Gary A. Ulaner, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave, Box 77, New York, NY 10065. E-mail:

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Abstract: A 70-year-old man underwent partial gastrectomy with pathology demonstrating gastric follicular lymphoma. After surgery, a staging FDG PET/CT study demonstrated an FDG-avid low-attenuation band in the liver. Corresponding MRI demonstrated a high T2 signal abnormality. This was believed to represent liver parenchymal injury due to liver retraction during surgery. The patient was managed conservatively. MRI at 1 month of follow-up demonstrated resolution of the T2 signal abnormality. FDG PET/CT at 6 months of follow-up demonstrated resolution of FDG uptake. Tissue injury from surgical retraction can produce FDG-avid lesions that need to be distinguished from malignancy on PET/CT.

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FDG PET; false-positive; postsurgical inflammation; liver

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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