False positive and false negative FDG-PET scans in various thoracic diseases

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Chang, Jung Min; Lee, Hyun Ju; Goo, Jin Mo; Lee, Ho-Young; Lee, Jong Jin; Chung, June-Key; Im, Jung-Gi
Issue Date
The Korean Radiological Society
Korean J Radiol 2006;7(1):57-69
Computed tomographyPositron emmosion tomographyThoracic diseasesCryptococcosis/diagnosisFluorodeoxyglucose F18/*diagnostic useHistiocytoma, Benign Fibrous/diagnosisRadiopharmaceuticals/*diagnostic useThoracic Diseases/*diagnosisLymphatic Diseases/diagnosisLung Diseases/*diagnosis
Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) is being used more and more to differentiate benign from malignant focal lesions and it has been shown to be more efficacious than conventional chest computed tomography (CT). However, FDG is not a cancer-specific agent, and false positive findings in benign diseases have been reported. Infectious diseases (mycobacterial, fungal, bacterial infection), sarcoidosis, radiation pneumonitis and post-operative surgical conditions have shown intense uptake on PET scan. On the other hand, tumors with low glycolytic activity such as adenomas, bronchioloalveolar carcinomas, carcinoid tumors, low grade lymphomas and small sized tumors have revealed false negative findings on PET scan. Furthermore, in diseases located near the physiologic uptake sites (heart, bladder, kidney, and liver), FDG-PET should be complemented with other imaging modalities to confirm results and to minimize false negative findings. Familiarity with these false positive and negative findings will help radiologists interpret PET scans more accurately and also will help to determine the significance of the findings. In this review, we illustrate false positive and negative findings of PET scan in a variety of diseases.
1229-6929 (Print)
2005-8330 (Electronic)
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