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(18)F-FDG PET/CT for early detection of embolism and metastatic infection in patients with infective endocarditis

, : (18)F-FDG PET/CT for early detection of embolism and metastatic infection in patients with infective endocarditis. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 37(6): 1189-1197

In the acute setting of endocarditis it is very important to assess both the vegetation itself, as well as potential life-threatening complications, in order to decide whether antibiotic therapy will be sufficient or urgent surgery is indicated. A single whole-body scan investigating inflammatory changes could be very helpful to achieve a swift and efficient assessment. In this study we assessed whether (18)F-FDG can be used to detect and localize peripheral embolism or distant infection. Twenty-four patients with 25 episodes of endocarditis, enrolled between March 2006 and February 2008, underwent (18)F-FDG PET/CT imaging on a dedicated PET/CT scanner. PET/CT imaging revealed a focus of peripheral embolization and/or metastatic infection in 11 episodes (44%). One episode had a positive PET/CT scan result for both embolism and metastatic infection. PET/CT detected seven positive cases (28%) in which there was no clinical suspicion. Valve involvement of endocarditis was seen only in three patients (12%). PET/CT may be an important diagnostic tool for tracing peripheral embolism and metastatic infection in the acute setting of infective endocarditis, since a PET/CT scan detected a clinically occult focus in nearly one third of episodes.


PMID: 20204357

DOI: 10.1007/s00259-010-1380-x

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