Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography versus Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography: Tools for Imaging the Lung
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This article reviews the potential use of positron emission tomography (PET), alone and in combination with computed tomography, for evaluating the severity of disease in cystic fibrosis. PET scanning using injected 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose provides visual and quantitative information for the rate at which glucose is taken up by the lung, a process that should relate to the presence of inflammation and reflect the extent of the disease. The computed tomography scan gives highly accurate density and anatomic information to locate areas of inflammation seen on the PET scan, increasing the accuracy of the interpretation. Until recently, the scanners have been single systems, often located in separate hospital departments. Combined systems are now commercially available, with major advantages for patients and in the quality of analytical information obtained for interpretation by the physician. The use of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake and PET scanning has been suggested as a biomarker of progressive pulmonary inflammation in cystic fibrosis. Although promising, the data so far are limited. Further studies will be needed to validate this measurement for this purpose.
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