Molecular imaging of sarcomas with FDG PET

Skeletal Radiol. 2023 Mar;52(3):461-475. doi: 10.1007/s00256-022-04182-7. Epub 2022 Sep 29.


Sarcoma comprises a heterogenous entity of musculoskeletal malignancies arising from a mesenchymal origin. The diagnosis and management of pediatric sarcoma requires a multidisciplinary approach and the use of various imaging modalities including CT, MRI and FDG PET scans. FDG PET/CT (FDG PET), as a metabolic imaging, complements and provides superior diagnostic information as against other imaging modalities alone. Advantages of FDG PET in differentiating malignant sarcomatous lesions from benign lesions, and value in staging and restaging have been noted in several studies. The use of FDG PET in clinical management has increased over the years. The data on prognostication of outcomes or predicting responders to therapy with FDG PET in patients with sarcoma is somewhat limited. This review will focus on the pearls and pitfalls of FDG PET and role of FDG PET in initial extent of disease assessment, treatment response, and surveillance imaging pertaining to osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma. We also discuss the limitations and unmet needs of FDG PET in the management of patients with sarcoma.

Keywords: Ewing’s; FDG; Osteosarcoma; PET; Rhabdomyosarcoma; Sarcoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Child
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography / methods
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Sarcoma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Sarcoma* / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Radiopharmaceuticals