Early prosthetic aortic valve infection identified with the use of positron emission tomography in a patient with lead endocarditis

J Nucl Cardiol. 2016 Dec;23(6):1504-1507. doi: 10.1007/s12350-016-0511-6. Epub 2016 May 5.


Background: 18-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computerized tomography (FDG PET/CT) scanning has recently been proposed as a diagnostic tool for lead endocarditis (LE).

Objective: FDG PET/CT might be also useful to localize associated septic emboli in patients with LE.

Case presentation: We report an interesting case of a LE patient with a prosthetic aortic valve in whom a trans-esophageal echocardiogram did not show associated aortic endocarditis. FDG PET/CT revealed prosthetic aortic valve infection. A second TEE performed 2 weeks after identified aortic vegetation. A longer duration of antimicrobial therapy with serial follow-up echocardiography was initiated. There was also increased uptake in the sigmoid colon, corresponding to focal polyps resected during a colonoscopy.

Conclusion: FDG PET/CT scanning seems to be highly sensitive for prosthetic aortic valve endocarditis diagnosis. This promising diagnostic tool may be beneficial in LE patients, by identifying septic emboli and potential sites of pathogen entry.

Keywords: 18-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computerized tomography; colonic polyps; lead endocarditis; pathogen entry; prosthetic valve endocarditis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aortic Valve / surgery
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Electrodes, Implanted / adverse effects
  • Endocarditis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Endocarditis / etiology*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pacemaker, Artificial / adverse effects*
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography / methods*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / etiology