(18)F-FDG and (18)F-FET uptake in experimental soft tissue infection

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2002 May;29(5):648-54. doi: 10.1007/s00259-002-0780-y. Epub 2002 Mar 6.


The aim of this study was to compare the uptake of (18)F-fluoroethyl- L-tyrosine ((18)F-FET) with that of (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) in activated inflammatory white blood cells. Unilateral thigh muscle abscesses were induced in 11 rats by intramuscular inoculation of 0.1 ml of a bacterial suspension ( S. aureus, 1.2 x 10(9) CFU/ml). Four animals were intraperitoneally injected with 130-180 MBq (18)F-FDG, four with 140-170 MBq (18)F-FET and three with a mixture of 140-170 MBq (18)F-FET and 1.8 MBq (14)C-deoxyglucose. Autoradiography (10 microm slice thickness) of the abscess and the contralateral muscle was performed and detailed spatial correlation of autoradiography and histopathology (haematoxylin-eosin staining) was obtained. Regions of interest were placed on the abscess wall and the grey values (digitised image intensities) measured were converted to kBq/cc per kBq injected activity per gram (SUV). Areas with increased (18)F-FDG uptake corresponded to cellular inflammatory infiltrates mainly consisting of granulocytes. The SUV was calculated to be 4.08+/-0.65 (mean+/-SD). The uptake of (18)F-FET in activated white blood cells was not increased: the SUV of the abscess wall, at 0.74+/-0.14, was even below that of contralateral muscle. The low uptake of (18)F-FET in non-neoplastic inflammatory cells promises a higher specificity for the detection of tumour cells than is achieved with (18)F-FDG, since the immunological host response will not be labelled and inflammation can be excluded.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / diagnostic imaging
  • Abscess / metabolism*
  • Abscess / pathology
  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Carbon Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics
  • Deoxyglucose / pharmacokinetics
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / pharmacokinetics*
  • Leg / diagnostic imaging
  • Leukocytes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Myositis / diagnostic imaging
  • Myositis / metabolism*
  • Myositis / pathology
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Rats
  • Reference Values
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnostic imaging
  • Staphylococcal Infections / metabolism
  • Staphylococcal Infections / pathology
  • Tyrosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tyrosine / pharmacokinetics*


  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • O-(2-fluoroethyl)tyrosine
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Tyrosine
  • Deoxyglucose