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FDG PET Imaging in Sarcoidosis

Seminars in Nuclear Medicine
Elsevier - WB Saunders
DOI: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2013.06.007
  • Medicine


The objective of this review is to highlight the clinical utility of FDG-PET/CT for evaluation of patients with chronic sarcoidosis. The emphasis was on the potential advantages and disadvantages of this technique in these patients based on which recommendations were made. The advantage of FDG-PET/CT technique is that it can visualize FDG accumulation in activated inflammatory cells and simultaneously provide PET and CT images. Of particular interest is the use of FDG-PET/CT for the staging and identification of occult sites and sites suitable for biopsy and for the assessment of inflammatory active sarcoidosis in patients with prolonged symptoms, especially when other markers of the disease are within normal values. FDG-PET/CT also provides a better visualization of extrathoracic sites of active sarcoidosis, such as in the bones, liver, spleen, and retroperitoneal lymph nodes. The use of FDG-PET/CT is of special interest in cardiac sarcoidosis because this potentially life-threatening disease is sometimes present in asymptomatic patients. FDG-PET/CT also has a role in the clinical management of patients with chronic persistent sarcoidosis, such as for planning treatment, monitoring response, and long-term follow-up. The limitations of FDG-PET/CT in patients with sarcoidosis are discussed in the context of a “sarcoidosis-lymphoma syndrome” and potentially excessive radiation exposure. Further prospective multicentre studies are needed to refine the clinical applications of FDG-PET/CT in patients with sarcoidosis and drive the field forward.

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