In vivo prediction of tuberculosis-associated cavity formation in rabbits

J Infect Dis. 2015 Feb 1;211(3):481-5. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiu449. Epub 2014 Aug 12.


The presence of cavitary lesions in patients with tuberculosis poses a significant clinical concern due to the risk of infectivity and the risk of antibiotic treatment failure. We describe 2 algorithms that use noninvasive positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) to predict the development of cavitary lesions in rabbits. Analysis of the PET region of interest predicted cavitary disease with 100% sensitivity and 76% specificity, and analysis of the CT region of interest predicted cavitary disease with 83.3% sensitivity and 76.9% specificity. Our results show that restricting our analysis to regions with high [(18)F]-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake provided the best combination of sensitivity and specificity.

Keywords: CT; PET; [18F]-FDG; tuberculosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dental Pulp Cavity / microbiology*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / chemistry
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Rabbits
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemistry
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Tooth Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Tooth Diseases / microbiology*
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18