18F-FDG PET/CT for diagnosing infectious complications in patients with severe neutropenia after intensive chemotherapy for haematological malignancy or stem cell transplantation.
SourceEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 39, 1, (2012), pp. 120-128
1 januari 2012
Article / Letter to editor
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European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
SubjectN4i 2: Invasive mycoses and compromised host; N4i 2: Invasive mycoses and compromised host NCMLS 1: Infection and autoimmunity; N4i 2: Invasive mycoses and compromised host ONCOL 3: Translational research; ONCOL 3: Translational research N4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation
PURPOSE: Between 30 and 50% of febrile neutropenic episodes are accounted for by infection. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a nonspecific parameter for infection and inflammation but might be employed as a trigger for diagnosis. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/CT can be used to detect inflammatory foci in neutropenic patients with elevated CRP and whether it helps to direct treatment. METHODS: Twenty-eight consecutive patients with neutropenia as a result of intensive chemotherapy for haematological malignancies or myeloablative therapy for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation were prospectively included. (18)F-FDG PET/CT was added to the regular diagnostic workup once the CRP level rose above 50 mg/l. RESULTS: Pathological FDG uptake was found in 26 of 28 cases despite peripheral neutrophil counts less than 0.1 x 10(-9)/l in 26 patients: in the digestive tract in 18 cases, around the tract of the central venous catheter (CVC) in 9 and in the lungs in 7 cases. FDG uptake in the CVC tract was associated with coagulase-negative staphylococcal bacteraemia (p < 0.001) and deep venous thrombosis (p = 0.002). The number of patients having Streptococcus mitis bacteraemia appeared to be higher in patients with grade 3 oesophageal FDG uptake (p = 0.08). Pulmonary FDG uptake was associated with the presence of invasive fungal disease (p = 0.04). CONCLUSION: (18)F-FDG PET/CT scanning during chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia and increased CRP is able to detect localized foci of infection and inflammation despite the absence of circulating neutrophils. Besides its potential role in detecting CVC-related infection during febrile neutropenia, the high negative predictive value of (18)F-FDG PET/CT is important for avoiding unnecessary diagnostic tests and therapy.
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