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Top-Down Systematic Approach to Interpretation of FDG-PET for Dementia

Sawyer, David M., MD*; Kuo, Phillip H., MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/RLU.0000000000002115
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Dementia is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and encompasses a very heterogenous group of disease processes. Positron emission tomography (PET) of the brain using fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is a useful modality for differentiating types of dementia. Because FDG does not bind to pathologic proteins, FDG-PET requires that the reader recognize characteristic patterns of glucose hypometabolism to identify pathology. These patterns have been documented in the literature for both primary neurodegenerative disorders and secondary causes of dementia. This article presents an algorithm for organizing these findings and systematically applying them to interpret FDG-PET brain imaging for dementia.

From the *Tucson Hospitals Medical Education Program; and †Departments of Medical Imaging, Biomedical Engineering, and Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

Received for publication March 15, 2018; revision accepted March 20, 2018.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: P.H.K. has financial relationships with commercial organizations that may have a direct or indirect interest in the content as follows: Endocyte, General Electric Healthcare, Imaging Endpoints, inviCRO, Lilly, and Progenics.

Correspondence to: David M. Sawyer, MD, Tucson Hospitals Medical Education Program, 5301 E. Grant Rd, Tucson, AZ 85712. E-mail:

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.