Clinical significance of patterns of increased [18F]-FDG uptake in the thyroid gland: a pictorial review
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In the diagnosis and staging of oncologic patients, [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is well recognized as an important functional imaging modality. FDG-PET also has been used for cancer screening in healthy individuals. In general, the normal thyroid gland shows absent or low uptake on FDG-PET, which is often identified as an incidental finding on PET. Today, thyroid FDG uptake can be seen in three patterns: diffuse; focal; and diffuse-plus-focal. Diffuse thyroid uptake is mainly considered an indicator of chronic thyroiditis. Focal thyroid uptake has been associated with malignancy (range 25–50%). Diffuse-plus-focal uptake is not well recognized and might also indicate a risk of malignancy. Understanding the patterns of thyroid FDG uptake is thus important for nuclear medicine physicians or radiologists when giving recommendations to the referring physician. In this pictorial review, we show the clinical significance of different patterns of thyroid uptake on FDG-PET [PET/computed tomography (CT)], including ultrasonography (US) findings.
KeywordsFDG-PET Focal uptake Diffuse uptake Thyroid cancer
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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