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Is There a Role for Fluorine 18 Fluorodeoxyglucose-Positron Emission Tomography and Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography in Evaluating Patients With Mycobacteriosis? A Systematic Review

Treglia, Giorgio MD*; Taralli, Silvia MD*; Calcagni, Maria Lucia MD*; Maggi, Fabio MD; Giordano, Alessandro MD*; Bonomo, Lorenzo MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: May-June 2011 - Volume 35 - Issue 3 - p 387-393
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e318219f810
Whole Body Imaging

Objective: This study was designed to review the emerging role of fluorine 18 fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) CT/computed tomography (PET/CT) in patients with mycobacteriosis.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search of published studies through October 2010 in PubMed/MEDLINE database regarding 18F-FDG-PET and PET/CT in patients with mycobacteriosis was performed.

Results: Ultimately, we identified 16 studies comprising a total of 220 patients with mycobacteriosis. Main findings of the included studies are presented.

Conclusions: (1) Mycobacteriosis commonly causes increased 18F-FDG uptake; therefore, positive 18F-FDG-PET results should be interpreted with caution in differentiating benign from malignant abnormalities. (2) 18F-FDG-PET and PET/CT are potentially useful in detecting sites of Mycobacterium infection. (3) Dual-phase 18F-FDG-PET is not useful for the differential diagnosis between malignant lesions and sites of Mycobacterium infection. (4) 18F-FDG-PET and PET/CT are useful for the evaluation of disease activity and in monitoring response to therapy in patients with mycobacteriosis. (5) Dual-tracer PET and PET/CT are potentially useful for presumptive diagnosis of solitary pulmonary nodules.

From the *Nuclear Medicine Unit, and †Radiology Unit, Department of Bioimaging and Radiological Sciences, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.

Received for publication November 29, 2010; accepted March 11, 2011.

Reprints: Giorgio Treglia, MD, Nuclear Medicine Unit, Department of Bioimaging and Radiological Sciences, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo Gemelli, 8, Rome, Italy, 00168 (e-mail:

No funding for research was received.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.