FDG PET/CT for Detection of Infectious Complications Following Solid Organ Transplantation


Infectious complications after solid organ transplantation (SOT) are often more severe and remain a diagnostic challenge due to vague and atypical clinical presentations. Diagnostic performance of conventional diagnostic tools is frequently inadequate which may lead to delayed diagnosis with the risk of poorer outcomes. This literature review aimed to investigate the current evidence on the use of 18F-fluoro-deoxy-glucose (FDG) Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/computer tomography (CT) in infectious complications after SOT. Based on search in PubMed, Medline, and Cochrane databases, 13 articles and 46 case reports were included. For inclusion, articles were to include data on patients with infectious complications after SOT, and where FDG PET/CT was part of the work-up. Final searches were conducted on 02 September 2020. Overall, in the absence of initial diagnostic clues, FDG PET/CT should be considered as the imaging technique of choice as it may guide further investigations and eventually reveal the diagnosis in most of the patients. However, the available literature of the role of FDG PET/CT in SOT recipients with infectious complications is scarce and well-designed prospective studies including control groups are warranted to establish the role of FDG PET/C/ in SOT recipients. The main drawback of FDG PET/CT is the lack of ability to differentiate between cancer and infectious diseases which are both highly prevalent in this patient group. Accordingly, the main reasons for "false" results of FDG PET/CT is the misdiagnosis of cancer in benign inflammatory or infectious processes, information which nonetheless can be useful.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSeminars in Nuclear Medicine
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)321-334
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Computers
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Organ Transplantation/adverse effects
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiopharmaceuticals


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