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J Nucl Med Technol. 2012 Jun;40(2):92-8. doi: 10.2967/jnmt.111.097964. Epub 2012 May 8.

Intervention to lower anxiety of 18F-FDG PET/CT patients by use of audiovisual imagery during the uptake phase before imaging.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, The Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Many patients referred for PET suffer from anxiety, possibly affecting the workflow and patient experience. In addition, patient anxiety may affect image quality through uptake of (18)F-FDG in muscles or brown adipose tissue (BAT).This study investigated the effects of a nonpharmacologic intervention-the use of audiovisual imagery in the PET uptake room-on patient anxiety and false-positive uptake of (18)F-FDG (in muscles and BAT).


A 2-stage study was conducted on 101 patients. The cohort undergoing the intervention included 51 patients. The first stage (n = 35) included physiologic measurements (cardiovascular activity, muscular activity, skin conductance, and cortisol), a state anxiety questionnaire, and visual evaluation of (18)F-FDG uptake in muscles and BAT; the second stage (n = 66) included only the state anxiety questionnaire and the (18)F-FDG uptake evaluation.


Throughout the stay in the uptake room, a significant decrease in overall anxiety was found, together with several other significant changes in patient physiology. In the cohort with audiovisual intervention, however, the decrease in patient anxiety was significantly larger. The cohort with intervention also showed significantly lower (18)F-FDG uptake in BAT but not in muscles.


The investigated audiovisual intervention helps to lower patient anxiety in the PET uptake room and can lower false-positive (18)F-FDG uptake in BAT.

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