A systematic review and meta-analysis of 18F-fluoro-D-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography interpretation methods in vascular graft and endograft infection

Eline I. Reinders Folmer*, Gerdine C.I. von Meijenfeldt, Renske S. te Riet ook genaamd Scholten, Maarten J. van der Laan, Andor W.J.M. Glaudemans, Riemer H.J.A. Slart, Clark J. Zeebregts, Ben R. Saleem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
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Objective: Vascular graft and endograft infection (VGEI) has high morbidity and mortality rates. Diagnosis is complicated because symptoms vary and can be nonspecific. A meta-analysis identified 18F-fluoro-D-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) as the most valuable tool for diagnosis of VGEI and favorable to computed tomography as the current standard. However, the availability and varied use of several interpretation methods, without consensus on which interpretation method is best, complicate clinical use. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of different interpretation methods of 18F-FDG PET/CT in diagnosis of VGEI. Methods: A systematic review was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Data sources included PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library. A meta-analysis was conducted on the different interpretation methods for 18F-FDG PET/CT in diagnosis of VGEI, including visual FDG uptake intensity, visual FDG uptake pattern, and quantitative maximum standardized uptake (SUVmax). Results: Of 613 articles, 13 were included (10 prospective and 3 retrospective articles). The FDG uptake pattern method (I2 = 26.2%) showed negligible heterogeneity, whereas the FDG uptake intensity (I2 = 42.2%) and SUVmax (I2 = 42.1%) methods showed moderate heterogeneity. The pooled sensitivity for FDG uptake intensity was 0.90 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79-0.96); for uptake pattern, 0.94 (95% CI, 0.89-0.97); and for SUVmax, 0.95 (95% CI, 0.76-0.99). The pooled specificity for FDG uptake intensity was 0.59 (95% CI, 0.38-0.78); for FDG uptake pattern, 0.81 (95% CI, 0.71-0.88); and for SUVmax, 0.77 (95% CI, 0.63-0.87). The uptake pattern interpretation method demonstrated the best positive and negative post-test probability, 82% and 10%, respectively. Conclusions: This meta-analysis identified the FDG uptake pattern as the most accurate assessment method of 18F-FDG PET/CT for diagnosis of VGEI. The optimal SUVmax cutoff, depending on the vendor, demonstrated strong sensitivity and moderate specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2174-2185.e2
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F 18 (FDG)
  • Meta-analysis
  • Positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT)
  • Sensitivity and specificity
  • Vascular graft infection


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