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Clin Microbiol Rev. 2008 Jan;21(1):209-24. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00025-07.

Role of modern imaging techniques for diagnosis of infection in the era of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


During the past several years, it has become quite evident that positron emission tomography (PET) with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) imaging can play a major role in the management of patients with suspected infection. Particularly, several groups have demonstrated that this powerful imaging methodology is very effective in the evaluation of osteomyelitis, infected prostheses, fever of unknown origin, and AIDS. In view of its extraordinary sensitivity in detecting disease activity and the ability to quantitate the degree of FDG uptake, PET might prove to be an appropriate modality for monitoring disease activity and evaluating response to therapy. FDG-PET has many advantages over existing imaging techniques for the diagnosis of infectious diseases. These include feasibility of securing diagnostic results within 1.5 to 2 h, excellent spatial resolution, and accurate anatomical localization of sites of abnormality. The availability of PET/computed tomography as a practical tool has further enhanced the role of metabolic imaging in many settings. In the future, this modality is very likely to be employed on a routine basis for detecting, characterizing, and monitoring patients with suspected and proven infection.

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