COVID-19 Vaccination-Associated Lymphadenopathy on FDG PET/CT: Distinctive Features in Adenovirus-Vectored Vaccine

Clin Nucl Med. 2021 Oct 1;46(10):814-819. doi: 10.1097/RLU.0000000000003800.


Purpose: This study investigated 18F-FDG PET/CT features of adenovirus-vectored vaccination against COVID-19 in healthy subjects.

Patients and methods: Thirty-one health care workers had been vaccinated Vaxzevria and underwent FDG PET/CT as an optional test for a cancer screening program. Size and FDG uptake of the hypermetabolic lymph nodes were measured. Uptake value of spleen was also measured with liver for comparison.

Results: All examinees who underwent FDG PET/CT within 14 days' interval showed hypermetabolic lymphadenopathies ipsilateral to vaccine injection. All examinees with hypermetabolic lymphadenopathy had simultaneous muscular uptakes until 23 days' interval. Among 12 examinees who underwent FDG PET/CT more than 15 days after vaccination, only 3 male examinees did not show hypermetabolism in the axillary lymph nodes. There was no female examinee with negative hypermetabolic lymphadenopathy until 29 days after vaccination.

Conclusions: Hypermetabolic reactive lymphadenopathy in the ipsilateral axillary area with or without supraclavicular area is most likely to occur in a healthy person with recent adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccination on FDG PET/CT.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae
  • Adenovirus Vaccines*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Lymphadenopathy* / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination


  • Adenovirus Vaccines
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18