Clinical Rheumatology

, 30:1265 | Cite as

Usefulness of whole-body fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in patients with large-vessel vasculitis: a systematic review

  • Giorgio TregliaEmail author
  • Maria Vittoria Mattoli
  • Lucia Leccisotti
  • Gianfranco Ferraccioli
  • Alessandro Giordano
Review Article


The objective of this study is to systematically review the role of positron emission tomography (PET) and PET/computed tomography (PET/CT) with fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) in patients with large-vessel vasculitis (LVV). A comprehensive literature search of published studies through April 2011 in PubMed/MEDLINE and Scopus databases regarding whole-body FDG-PET and PET/CT in patients with LVV was performed. We identified 32 studies including 604 LVV patients. The main findings of these studies are presented. The conclusions are the following: (1) FDG-PET and PET/CT are useful imaging methods in the initial diagnosis and in the assessment of activity and extent of disease in patients with LVV; (2) the correlation between FDG-PET findings and serological levels of inflammatory markers, as well as the usefulness of FDG-PET and PET/CT in evaluating treatment response, remains unclear; (3) it appears that there is a superiority of FDG-PET and PET/CT over conventional imaging methods in the diagnosis of LVV, but not in assessing disease activity under immunosuppressive treatment, in predicting relapse or in evaluating vascular complications; and (4) given the heterogeneity between studies with regard to PET analysis and diagnostic criteria, a standardization of the technique is needed.


Aortitis 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT Positron emission tomography Vasculitis 





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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgio Treglia
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Vittoria Mattoli
    • 1
  • Lucia Leccisotti
    • 1
  • Gianfranco Ferraccioli
    • 2
  • Alessandro Giordano
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Nuclear Medicine, Positron Emission Tomography CentreCatholic University of the Sacred HeartRomeItaly
  2. 2.Division of RheumatologyCatholic University of the Sacred HeartRomeItaly

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