F-18-FDG uptake in tuberculosis

Clin Nucl Med. 1998 Nov;23(11):739-42. doi: 10.1097/00003072-199811000-00003.


Two patients are described who showed abnormal fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (F-18 FDG) uptake that was due to benign disease, specifically tuberculous lymphadenitis and pneumonitis. The first patient had ulceration and oozing of the left nipple that was related to Paget's disease. An F-18 FDG PET, whole-body scan, which was performed for staging, showed no breast uptake. However, there was intense multifocal uptake in mediastinal, supraclavicular, and para-aortic areas that was confirmed radiologically to represent widespread lymphadenopathy. Pathologic examination of a mediastinal lymph node showed active tuberculosis. The second patient showed intense focal F-18 FDG uptake in mediastinal and supraclavicular areas and para-aortic lymphadenopathy due to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In addition, there was abnormal F-18 FDG lung uptake that revealed the presence of acid-fast bacilli on bronchial lavage. Intense focal F-18 FDG uptake in widespread lymphadenopathy or in the lung could be caused by infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. This possibility should be considered when whole-body scans of patients with cancer are interpreted, especially in those with a high incidence of infectious disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / complications
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paget's Disease, Mammary / complications
  • Paget's Disease, Mammary / diagnostic imaging
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / complications
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / complications
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging*


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18