The Role of PET Scanning in the Evaluation of Patients With Kidney Disease

Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2017 May;24(3):154-161. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2017.01.002.


Patients with underlying kidney disease are often required to undergo imaging for a variety of purposes including diagnosis and prognosis. A test that is being increasingly used with for this group of patients is the positron emission test (PET) scan. In addition, combining the nuclear medicine technique (PET) with computed tomography scan allows additional imaging advantages over either alone. These imaging modalities are commonly used for a number of extrarenal indications (ie, cancer, coronary artery disease, central nervous system disease, infectious diseases, and others). They have also been used for diagnosis of acute tubulointerstitial nephritis, evaluation and management of retroperitoneal fibrosis, identifying infection within kidney and liver cysts, and distinguishing complex kidney cysts from kidney cancer in patients with underlying CKD. We will review PET scan utility in patients with kidney disease.

Keywords: Acute tubulointerstitial nephritis; Positron emission tomography; Renal cell cancer; Renal cysts; Retroperitoneal fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Cysts / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / diagnostic imaging*
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Retroperitoneal Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging*