The role of 18F-FDG-PET and PET/CT in patients with sarcoidosis: an updated evidence-based review

Acad Radiol. 2014 May;21(5):675-84. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2014.01.008.


Rationale and objectives: To provide an updated evidence-based review of the literature on the role of fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) or PET/computed tomography (PET/CT) in patients with sarcoidosis.

Materials and methods: A comprehensive literature search of PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, and Embase databases was conducted to find relevant published articles on FDG-PET or PET/CT in patients with sarcoidosis. Only those studies that satisfied all the following criteria were included: (1) FDG-PET or PET/CT performed in patients with histologically confirmed sarcoidosis, (2) sample size of at least 10 patients, and (3) whole-body PET studies performed. Information was collected concerning basic study, patient characteristics, and technical aspects. The main findings of the articles included have been described.

Results: Reviewing titles and abstracts, 21 articles were selected. The role of FDG-PET or PET/CT was analyzed in assessing disease extent and activity and in treatment response evaluation. Comparison with other tracers had also been investigated. Recent studies evaluated the influence of these methods in the clinical management and their role as predictive tools in patients with sarcoidosis.

Conclusions: FDG-PET and PET/CT seem to be useful in staging, evaluating disease activity, and monitoring treatment response in patients with sarcoidosis. PET appears to have higher diagnostic accuracy compared to Gallium-67-citrate scintigraphy. Conversely, there is not enough evidence about the use of other PET tracers in patients with sarcoidosis. FDG-PET and PET/CT seem to have a role as predictive tools and may influence the clinical management in patients with sarcoidosis, but more studies are needed in this regard.

Keywords: Positron emission tomography; fluorodeoxyglucose; sarcoidosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18