Pitfalls and Artifacts

  • Geoffrey Bates Johnson
  • Christopher Harker Hunt
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


FDG PET is extremely useful in staging and restaging cancer, differentiating malignant from benign processes, and locating otherwise occult sites of malignancy. However, areas of real or apparent FDG activity do not always represent malignancy. In this chapter we will review the more common categories of pitfalls and artifacts and how they can be recognized and avoided. Pitfalls arise when real benign biologic processes result in imaging findings that mimic malignancy. Common pitfalls are seen with abnormal nonmalignant biologic processes, as well as normal physiologic and anatomic variation. Artifacts are imaging findings that arise in the process of patient preparation and imaging. Artifacts can mimic real biologic processes, or can negatively affect the interpretation of real biologic processes. Common artifacts result from errors related to attenuation correction, motion, truncation, glucose and insulin, FDG injection and uptake. When combining PET and CT imaging, some pitfalls and artifacts are avoided, while others may be newly created or multiplied.


Attenuation Correction Fibrous Dysplasia Common Pitfall Warthin Tumor Truncation Artifact 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg  2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Bates Johnson
    • 1
  • Christopher Harker Hunt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiology and ImmunologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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