FDG PET/CT imaging features and clinical utility in COVID-19 Journal Article

Authors: Yeh, R.; Elsakka, A.; Wray, R.; Perez Johnston, R.; Gangai, N. C.; Yarmohammadi, H.; Schoder, H.; Pandit-Taskar, N.
Article Title: FDG PET/CT imaging features and clinical utility in COVID-19
Abstract: Purpose: To determine the imaging findings and potential clinical utility of FDG PET/CT in patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Methods: We performed a single institution retrospective review of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 using real time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) who underwent FDG PET/CT for routine cancer care between March 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020, during the height of the pandemic in New York City, New York, United States. PET/CT scans were retrospectively reviewed for imaging findings suspicious for COVID-19. For positive scans, PET and CT findings were recorded, including location, FDG avidity (SUVmax) and CT morphology. Patient demographics and COVID-19 specific clinical data were collected and analyzed with respect to PET/CT scan positivity, lung SUVmax, and time interval between PET/CT and RT-PCR. Results: Thirty-one patients (21 males and 10 females, mean age 57 years ± 16) were evaluated. Thirteen of 31 patients had positive PET/CT scans, yielding a detection rate of 41.9%. Patients with positive scans had significantly higher rates of symptomatic COVID-19 infection (77% vs 28%, p = 0.01) and hospitalizations (46% vs. 0%, p = 0.002) compared to patients with negative scans. Eleven of 13 patients (84.6%) with positive scans had FDG-avid lung findings, with mean lung SUVmax of 5.36. Six of 13 patients (46.2%) had extrapulmonary findings of FDG-avid thoracic lymph nodes. The detection rate was significantly lower when the scan was performed before RT-PCR versus after RT-PCR (18.8% (n = 3/16) vs. 66.7% (n = 10/15), p = 0.009). Lung SUVmax was not associated with COVID-19 symptoms, severity, or disease course. Conclusion: FDG PET/CT has limited sensitivity for detecting COVID-19 infection. However, a positive PET scan is associated with higher risk of symptomatic infection and hospitalizations, which may be helpful in predicting disease severity. © 2021
Keywords: polymerase chain reaction; patient monitoring; computerized tomography; clinical utility; biological organs; pet/ct; ct imaging; fdg pet; ct-scan; detection rates; imaging features; reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction; coronavirus disease 2019; covid-19
Journal Title: Clinical Imaging
Volume: 80
ISSN: 0899-7071
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.  
Date Published: 2021-12-01
Start Page: 262
End Page: 267
Language: English
DOI: 10.1016/j.clinimag.2021.08.002
PROVIDER: scopus
PMCID: PMC8349436
PUBMED: 34418873
Notes: Article -- Export Date: 1 September 2021 -- Source: Scopus
Citation Impact
MSK Authors
  1. Heiko Schoder
    467 Schoder
  2. Natalie Gangai
    35 Gangai
  3. Randy Yeh
    43 Yeh
  4. Rick Wray
    4 Wray