F-18-FDG Uptake in Tuberculosis

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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.

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