Focal lung uptake of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) without computed tomography findings

Nucl Med Commun. 2005 Sep;26(9):827-30. doi: 10.1097/01.mnm.0000175786.27423.42.


Background: Integrated positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) systems represent a major development allowing functional and anatomical information to be acquired in a single examination session and therefore providing a more accurate definition of suspected lesion characteristics. Together with the increasing number of clinical settings in which PET/CT scans have been advocated, however, pitfalls in image interpretation have been reported.

Methods: Four female subjects presenting a focal area of increased F-fluorodeoxyglucose (F-FDG) uptake with no evidence of a corresponding CT abnormality were included in the study. PET/CT scans were performed in all cases after the administration of 5.3 MBq . kg of F-FDG through a venous cannula.

Results: Focal high uptake of F-FDG was observed in lung lesions without anatomical counterparts on CT in four female cases. The only common feature to all was the paravenous injection of the radiotracer.

Conclusion: The lesions detected by PET may be related to distal lung microembolism originating from the site of paravenous injection.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / metabolism
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Subtraction Technique
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18