Brain: normal variations and benign findings in fluorodeoxyglucose-PET/computed tomography imaging

PET Clin. 2014 Apr;9(2):129-40. doi: 10.1016/j.cpet.2013.10.006.


Brain 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET allows the in vivo study of cerebral glucose metabolism, reflecting neuronal and synaptic activity. 18F-FDG-PET has been extensively used to detect metabolic alterations in several neurologic diseases compared with normal aging. However, healthy subjects have variants of 18F-FDG distribution, especially as associated with aging. This article focuses on 18F-FDG-PET findings in so-called normal brain aging, and in particular on metabolic differences occurring with aging and as a function of people’s gender. The effect of different substances, medications, and therapy procedures are discussed, as well as common artifacts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Artifacts
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*
  • Multimodal Imaging / standards
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / standards
  • Radiopharmaceuticals* / pharmacokinetics
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / standards


  • Blood Glucose
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18