Imaging of Invasive Fungal Infections: The Role of PET/CT

Alfred O. Ankrah*, Ismaheel O. Lawal, Rudi A.J.O. Dierckx, Mike M. Sathekge, Andor W.J.M. Glaudemans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Over the last decades, the population at risk for invasive fungal disease (IFD) has increased because of medical therapy advances and diseases compromising patients' immune systems. The high morbidity and mortality associated with invasive fungal disease in the immunocompromised present the challenge of early diagnosis of the IFD and the need to closely monitor the infection during treatment. The definitive diagnosis of invasive fungal disease based on culture or histopathological methods often has reduced diagnostic accuracy in the immunocompromised and may be very invasive. Less invasive and indirect evidence of the fungal infection by serology and imaging has been used for the early diagnosis of fungal infection before definitive results are available or when the definitive methods of diagnosis are suboptimal. Imaging in invasive fungal disease is a non-invasive biomarker that helps in the early diagnosis of invasive fungal disease but helps follow-up the infection during treatment. Different imaging modalities are used in the workup to evaluate fungal disease. The different imaging modalities have advantages and disadvantages at different sites in the body and may complement each other in the management of IFD. Positron emission tomography integrated with computed tomography with [18F]Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG PET/CT) has helped manage IFD. The combined functional data from PET and anatomical data from the CT from almost the whole body allows noninvasive evaluation of IFD and provides a semiquantitative means of assessing therapy. FDG PET/CT adds value to anatomic-based only imaging modalities. The nonspecificity of FDG uptake has led to the evaluation of other tracers in the assessment of IFD. However, these are mainly still at the preclinical level and are yet to be translated to humans. FDG PET/CT remains the most widely evaluated radionuclide-based imaging modality in IFD management. The limitations of FDG PET/CT must be well understood, and more extensive prospective studies in uniform populations are needed to validate its role in the management of IFD that can be international guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Nuclear Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2023

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