FDG-PET/CT Variants and Pitfalls in Haematological Malignancies

Patrick Pilkington, Egesta Lopci, Judit A Adam, Carsten Kobe, Karolien Goffin, Ken Herrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Hematologic malignancies represent a vast group of hematopoietic and lymphoid cancers that typically involve the blood, the bone marrow, and the lymphatic organs. Due to extensive research and well defined and standardized response criteria, the role of [18F]FDG-PET/CT is well defined in these malignancies. Never the less, the reliability of visual and quantitative interpretation of PET/CT may be impaired by several factors including inconsistent scanning protocols and image reconstruction methods. Furthermore, the uptake of [18F]FDG not only reflects tissue glucose consumption by malignant lesions, but also in other situations such as in inflammatory lesions, local and systemic infections, benign tumors, reactive thymic hyperplasia, histiocytic infiltration, among others; or following granulocyte colony stimulating factors therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or surgical interventions, all of which are a potential source of false-positive or negative interpretations. Therefore it is of paramount importance for the Nuclear Medicine Physician to be familiar with, not only the normal distribution of [18F]FDG in the body, but also with the most frequent findings that may hamper a correct interpretation of the scan, which could ultimately alter the patients management. In this review, we describe these myriad of situations so the interpreting physician can be familiar with them, providing tools for their correct identification and interpretation when possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-571
Number of pages18
JournalSeminars in Nuclear Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Hematologic Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Reproducibility of Results


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