Combined PET and X-ray computed tomography imaging in pulmonary infections and inflammation

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2011 May;17(3):197-205. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e328344db8a.


Purpose of review: This review addresses issues relating to the use of the relatively new combined PET and X-ray computed tomography (PET/CT) modality for imaging pulmonary infections and inflammation, as well as assessing its potential for this purpose.

Recent findings: Accurate definition and monitoring of the extent of lung infection is difficult using conventional chest radiograph, CT scan, MRI, and radioisotope scintigraphy. In the last decade, PET/CT using radiolabeled fluorodeoxyglucose has been added to the imaging armamentarium, mostly for imaging lung cancer. To date, very few data are available on the application of this technique for imaging pulmonary infections and inflammation; however, this situation is changing, and there is now more interest in using PET/CT for this purpose. In addition, there are new tracers on the horizon which remain to be exploited.

Summary: This review addresses some of these issues and outlines the potential to use PET/CT for noncancer pulmonary indications.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Humans
  • Pneumonia* / diagnostic imaging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections* / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18