OBJECTIVES: To investigate the diagnostic value of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) in detecting thoracic aortic prosthetic graft infection. METHODS: Nine patients with clinically suspected thoracic aortic graft infection underwent FDG-PET/CT scanning. In these patients, the diagnoses could not be confirmed using conventional modalities. The patients' clinical courses were retrospectively reviewed. RESULTS: On the basis of surgical, microbiological and clinical follow-up findings, the aortic grafts were considered infected in 4 patients and not infected in 5. All 4 patients with graft infection (root: 2 cases, arch: 1 case and descending: 1 case) eventually underwent in situ re-replacement. Two of the 4 patients also had abdominal grafts; however, only the thoracic grafts were replaced because uptake was low around the abdominal grafts. The maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax) in the perigraft area was higher in the infected group than in the non-infected group (11.4 ± 4.5 vs 6.9 ± 6.4), although the difference was not statistically significant. According to the receiver operating characteristic analysis, SUVmax >8 appeared to be the cut-off value in distinguishing the two groups (sensitivity: 1.0 and specificity: 0.8). CONCLUSIONS: FDG-PET/CT is useful for confirming the presence of graft infection by detecting high uptake around grafts and excluding other causes of inflammation. An SUVmax value greater than 8 around a graft suggests the presence of graft infection. In addition, FDG-PET/CT can be used to clarify the precise extent of infection. This is especially useful if multiple separated prosthetic grafts have been implanted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine