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BMC Pulm Med. 2013 Mar 21;13:14. doi: 10.1186/1471-2466-13-14.

18-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography for tuberculosis diagnosis and management: a case series.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, University of Virginia, PO Box 801337, Charlottesville, VA 29908-1337, USA.



F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is increasingly used to investigate for malignancy in the evaluation of pulmonary nodules, yet both active tuberculosis (TB) and malignancy have high uptake of FDG. Definitive diagnosis of TB can be further hindered in patients without growth of the organism from sputum.


We describe a series of four representative cases of TB in varying disease state originally imaged by FDG-PET during evaluation for malignancy. Decisions regarding treatment for active TB in the presence of negative cultures and the evolving understanding of the spectrum of the TB disease state are discussed.


FDG-PET may possess a role in the diagnosis of active TB infection in settings where conventional microbiological methods are unavaiable and holds particular promise for monitoring response to therapy in cases of unsettled treatment duration such as multidrug-resistant TB or in extrapulmonary TB.

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