Evaluation of FDG-PET/CT use in children with suspected infection or inflammation

Fabienne G. Ropers*, Robin M.P. van Mossevelde, Chantal P. Bleeker-Rovers, Floris H.P. van Velden, Danielle M.E. van Assema, Judit A. Adam, Marnix G.E.H. Lam, Nelleke Tolboom, Olaf M. Dekkers, Lioe Fee de Geus-Oei, Virginie Frings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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[18F]-FDG-PET/CT ([18F]-fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT)) is increasingly used as a diagnostic tool in suspected infectious or inflammatory conditions. Studies on the value of FDG-PET/CT in children are scarce. This study assesses the role of FDG-PET/CT in suspected infection or inflammation in children. In this multicenter cohort study, 64 scans in 59 children with suspected infection or inflammation were selected from 452 pediatric FDG-PET/CT scans, performed in five hospitals between January 2016 and August 2017. Main outcomes were diagnostic information provided by FDG-PET/CT for diagnostic scans and impact on clinical management for follow-up scans. Of these 64 scans, 50 were performed for primary diagnosis and 14 to monitor disease activity. Of the positive diagnostic scans, 23/27 (85%) contributed to establishing a diagnosis. Of the negative diagnostic scans, 8/21 (38%) contributed to the final diagnosis by narrowing the differential or by providing information on the disease manifestation. In all follow-up scans, FDG-PET/CT results guided management decisions. CRP was significantly higher in positive scans than in negative scans (p = 0.004). In 6% of diagnostic scans, relevant incidental findings were identified. In conclusion, FDG-PET/CT performed in children with suspected infection or inflammation resulted in information that contributed to the final diagnosis or helped to guide management decisions in the majority of cases. Prospective studies assessing the impact of FDG-PET/CT results on diagnosis and patient management using a structured diagnostic protocol are feasible and necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number715
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Diagnostic information
  • Diagnostic value
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Pediatrics


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