EANM: FDG PET useful for pulmonary tuberculosis response monitoring

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Research presented at the 2009 European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) conference in Barcelona, Spain, suggests that FDG PET is useful in monitoring response to antimycobacterial treatment in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis and can direct alternative therapy in case of resistant disease.

Mehmet A. Ozguven, MD, at the Gulhane Military Medical Academy in Ankara, Turkey, and colleagues said the purpose of the study was to evaluate the usefulness of FDG PET in monitoring treatment response in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis.

The researchers used high-resolution CT and FDG PET to evaluate 17 patients who were diagnosed with tuberculosis by bacteriological examinations of sputum. All the patients underwent an FDG PET scan before being administered a six month triple antimycobacterial treatment. Seven patients underwent PET scanning in the first month and three patients had PET exams in the sixth month of their antimycobacterial regimen.

“Although the standardized uptake value levels decreased slightly in the first month, the lesion size grew smaller and by 6 months only a faint uptake was seen,” Ozguven said.

In the study, FDG PET scans indicated no resistance to the antimycobacterial treatment.

“FDG PET may affect the clinical management of tuberculosis patients by directing alternative therapy in cases of resistant disease,” the researchers concluded.