Clinical 18F-FDG oncology patient preparation techniques

J Nucl Med Technol. 2003 Mar;31(1):3-7; quiz 8-10.


Clinical tumor imaging with (18)F-FDG in PET is growing in demand. This article will provide a review of current patient preparation and imaging techniques. The goal is to make the PET study as noninvasive as possible for the patient while obtaining quality images. Communication and coordination when scheduling these studies involves the patient and radiopharmacy, scanner, and support staff. A pertinent patient history (information about weight, pregnancy, breastfeeding, diabetes, etc.) is vital for appropriate patient instructions and patient sequencing. Patient preparation involves many variations on fluid intake, diet, medications, and other factors. Blood glucose levels must be </=150 mg/dL. If the patient has diabetes mellitus or is glucose intolerant, diet-exercise regime and glucose levels should be monitored. Accurate (18)F-FDG dose calculation to be used for region-of-interest analysis or standard uptake value determination is imperative. After (18)F-FDG injection, the patient must remain quiet and still to minimize muscle use. Before the scan, the patient may need relaxation medications, urinary catheterization, or other interventions. At the conclusion of this article, the reader should be able to list pertinent patient history issues that are useful for scheduling an (18)F-FDG tumor scan, discuss methods to ensure accurate (18)F-FDG patient dose calculations, and describe possible methods to help minimize urinary (18)F-FDG excretion.

MeSH terms

  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Patient Care
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18