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J Nucl Med. 2012 Oct;53(10):1543-9. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.112.104380. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

The utility of 18F-FDG PET/CT for diagnosis and adjustment of therapy in patients with active chronic sarcoidosis.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.


The purpose of this study was to assess the utility of (18)F-FDG PET/CT for detection of inflammation in granulomatous sites and management of patients with chronic sarcoidosis. The 3 specific aims were to assess differences between (18)F-FDG PET/CT and multidetector CT (MDCT) findings, to compare (18)F-FDG PET/CT results with serum levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), and to determine whether (18)F-FDG PET/CT findings are associated with the decision to change therapy.


We studied 90 sarcoidosis patients (mean age ± SD, 47 ± 12 y; 32 men and 58 women) with persistent symptoms who were referred for (18)F-FDG PET/CT evaluation to assess the extent of inflammation. They also underwent MDCT and measurement of serum ACE level. After the follow-up (12 ± 5 mo after (18)F-FDG PET/CT), the clinical status and changes in therapy were analyzed.


(18)F-FDG PET/CT detected inflammation in 74 patients (82%) (maximum standardized uptake value, 8.1 ± 3.9). MDCT was positive for sarcoidosis in 6 additional patients (80, 89%). The difference between the 2 methods was not significant (P = 0.238, McNemar test), and their agreement was fair (κ = 0.198). Although ACE levels were significantly higher in patients with positive than negative (18)F-FDG PET/CT results (P = 0.002, Mann-Whitney test), 38 patients (51%) with positive (18)F-FDG PET/CT results had normal ACE levels. The therapy was initiated or changed in 73 out of 90 patients (81%). Both univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated that positive (18)F-FDG PET/CT results were significantly (P < 0.001) associated with changes in therapy, with no contribution from age, sex, ACE level, CT results, or previous therapy.


Our results indicate that (18)F-FDG PET/CT is a useful adjunct to other diagnostic methods for detecting active inflammatory sites in chronic sarcoidosis patients with persistent symptoms, especially those with normal ACE levels. (18)F-FDG PET/CT proved advantageous for determining the spread of active disease throughout the body and influenced the decision to adjust the therapy.

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