Pearls and pitfalls in interpretation of abdominal and pelvic PET-CT

Radiographics. 2006 Sep-Oct;26(5):1335-53. doi: 10.1148/rg.265055208.


The interpretation of images obtained in the abdomen and pelvis can be challenging, and the coregistration of positron emission tomographic (PET) and computed tomographic (CT) scans may be especially valuable in the evaluation of these anatomic areas. PET-CT represents a major technologic advance, consisting of generally complementary modalities whose combined strength tends to overcome their respective weaknesses. However, this combined functional-structural imaging approach raises a number of controversial questions and presents some unique interpretative challenges. Accurate PET-CT scan interpretation requires awareness of the various pitfalls associated with the imaging components, both individually and in combination. The results of recent PET-CT studies have been very encouraging, but larger prospective studies will be needed to establish optimal hybrid scanning protocols. Applying sound imaging principles, paying attention to detail, and staying abreast of advances in this exciting new modality are necessary for harnessing the full diagnostic power of abdominopelvic PET-CT.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / pathology*
  • Artifacts*
  • Diagnostic Errors / prevention & control
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pelvis / pathology*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Radiography, Abdominal / methods*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Subtraction Technique*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18