[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD) is a rare form of non-Langerhans' cell histiocytosis. The aim of this study was to assess the value of whole-body scanning with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) in a large cohort of ECD patients from a single center.
We retrospectively reviewed all PET scans performed on 31 patients with ECD who were referred to our department between 2005 and 2008. PET images were reviewed by 2 independent nuclear medicine specialist physicians and were compared with other imaging modalities performed within 15 days of each PET scan.
Thirty-one patients (10 women and 21 men; median age 59.5 years) underwent a total of 65 PET scans. Twenty-three patients (74%) were untreated at the time of the initial PET scan, whereas 30 of the 34 followup PET scans (88%) were performed in patients who were undergoing immunomodulatory therapy. Comparison of the initial and followup PET scans with other imaging modalities revealed that the sensitivity of PET scanning varied greatly among the different organs studied (range 4.3-100%), while the specificity remained high (range 69.2-100%). Followup PET scans were particularly helpful in assessing central nervous system (CNS) involvement, since the PET scan was able to detect an early therapeutic response of CNS lesions, even before magnetic resonance imaging showed a decrease in their size. PET scanning was also very helpful in evaluating the cardiovascular system, which is a major prognostic factor in ECD, by assessing the heart and the entire vascular tree during a single session.
The results of our large, single-center, retrospective study suggest that the findings of a FDG-PET scan may be interesting in the initial assessment of patients with ECD, but its greater contribution is in followup of these patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) scanning has been proposed as a new way of assessing disease activity in Takayasu arteritis (TA), but previous studies have used the nonvalidated National Institutes of Health (NIH) global activity criteria, and thus might be biased. This study was undertaken to determine the value of PET scanning for assessment of disease activity in TA, by comparing PET scan data with clinical, biologic, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data assessed separately.
Twenty-eight patients with TA (according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria) underwent a total of 40 PET scans. Images were reviewed by 2 pairs of independent nuclear medicine physicians and assessed for pattern and intensity of vascular uptake. TA activity data were obtained within 15 days of the PET scans.
PET scanning revealed abnormal vascular uptake in 47% of the 40 examinations. The uptake intensity grade was 0 in 7 scans, grade 1 in 7 scans, grade 2 in 13 scans, and grade 3 in 13 scans. Morphologic analysis was conducted by grading the pattern of the vascular uptake as diffuse (73%), segmental (20%), or focal (13%). There was a trend toward an association between clinically active disease and the semiquantitative assessment of FDG uptake (P = 0.08). We found no statistical association between levels of acute-phase reactants and intensity of uptake. There was no significant association between the semiquantitative assessment of FDG uptake and the presence of vascular wall thickening (P = 0.23), gadolinium uptake (P = 0.73), or the presence of vascular wall edema (P = 0.56).
Our findings indicate that there is no association between FDG vascular uptake intensity and clinical, biologic, or MRI assessment of disease activity. Previous studies using the nonvalidated NIH global activity criteria are likely biased.