Cyst infection remains a challenging issue in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). In most patients, conventional imaging techniques are inconclusive. Isolated observations suggest that 18fluorodeoxyglucose (18FDG) positron-emission computed tomography (PET/CT) might help detect cyst infection in ADPKD patients.
Design, setting, participants, & measurements
Comparative assessment of administrative databases from January 2005 to December 2009 identified 27 PET/CT scans performed in 24 ADPKD patients for suspicion of abdominal infection. Cyst infection was definite if confirmed by cyst fluid analysis. Cyst infection was probable if all four of the following criteria were met: temperature of >38°C for >3 days, loin or liver tenderness, C-reactive protein plasma level of >5 mg/dl, and no CT evidence for intracystic bleeding. Episodes with only two or three criteria were grouped as “fever of unknown origin”.
Thirteen infectious events in 11 patients met all criteria for kidney (n = 3) or liver (n = 10) cyst infection. CT was contributive in only one patient, whereas PET/CT proved cyst infection in 11 patients (84.6%). In addition, 14 episodes of “fever of unknown origin” in 13 patients were recorded. PET/CT identified the source of infection in nine patients (64.3%), including 2 renal cyst infections. Conversely, PET/CT showed no abnormal 18FDG uptake in 5 patients, including 2 intracystic bleeding. The median delay between the onset of symptoms and PET/CT procedure was 9 days.
This retrospective series underscores the usefulness of PET/CT to confirm and locate cyst infection and identify alternative sources of abdominal infection in ADPKD patients.