Iatrogenic Artifacts on Whole-Body F-18 FDG PET Imaging

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Whole-body F-18 FDG PET images frequently show artifacts related to medical and surgical interventions. We present some of the common artifact patterns in this atlas article.

Materials and Methods:

We studied whole-body F-18 FDG PET images of 30 adult patients (17 males and 13 females). Of these, 9 patients had lymphoma, 7 had colon cancer, 6 had lung cancer, 3 had lung nodules, 2 each had breast and bladder cancer, and 1 patient had brain cancer. All patients had a history of some surgical or medical intervention for malignant or some other associated disease.


PET images of 8 patients showed artifacts related to implanted prostheses and ports and 9 patients showed artifacts related to percutaneous insertion or opening of catheters, tubes, and stomas. Six patients had artifacts from previous surgery, 3 from previous radiation therapy, 3 from previous chemotherapy, and 1 from changes in glucose metabolism.


Medical and surgical interventions can give rise to artifacts on whole-body F-18 FDG PET images. The possibilities and patterns of these artifacts should be kept in mind while reporting these studies.

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