Many potential pitfalls and artefacts have been described in PET imaging that uses F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). Normal uptake of FDG occurs in many sites of the body and may cause confusion in interpretation particularly in oncology imaging. Clinical correlation, awareness of the areas of normal uptake of FDG in the body and knowledge of variation in uptake as well as benign processes that are FDG avid are necessary to avoid potential pitfalls in image interpretation. In this context, optimum preparation of patients for their scans can be instituted in an attempt to reduce the problem. Many of the problems and pitfalls associated with areas of normal uptake of FDG can be solved by using PET CT imaging. PET CT imaging has the ability to correctly attribute FDG activity to a structurally normal organ on CT. However, the development of combined PET CT scanners also comes with its own specific problems related to the combined PET CT technique. These include misregistration artefacts due to respiration and the presence of high density substances which may lead to artefactual overestimation of activity if CT data are used for attenuation correction.
Keywords: FDG PET; artefacts; physiological uptake; pitfalls.