Utility of FDG PET/CT in inflammatory cardiovascular disease

Radiographics. Sep-Oct 2011;31(5):1271-86. doi: 10.1148/rg.315105222.


Inflammatory disorders of the cardiovascular system can affect the myocardium, pericardium, or vessel walls. Patients with myocardial and pericardial disease may present with chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath, symptoms resembling myocardial ischemia or infarction. The manifestations of vasculitis may include fever, weight loss, and fatigue, mimicking infectious or malignant processes. Because of the difficulty of differentiating these disease processes, patients frequently undergo multiple diagnostic examinations before obtaining a final diagnosis of myocarditis, pericarditis, or vasculitis. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging play important roles in the assessment of structural abnormalities of the cardiovascular system, and combined positron emission tomography (PET) and CT may depict inflammatory processes before structural changes occur. Familiarity with the PET/CT appearances of inflammatory processes in the myocardium, pericardium, and vessels is important for accurate and prompt diagnosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Fat Necrosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Multimodal Imaging*
  • Myocarditis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pericarditis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Vasculitis / diagnostic imaging*


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18