18F-FDG/PET-CT imaging findings after sternotomy

Maurits S.H. Blomjous, Ties A. Mulders, Ali R. Wahadat, Wilco Tanis, Ad J.J.C. Bogers, Jolien W. Roos-Hesselink, Ricardo P.J. Budde*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: The clinical diagnosis of deep sternal wound infection (DSWI) is supported by imaging findings including 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG-PET/CT). To avoid misinterpretation due to normal post-surgery inflammation we assessed normal imaging findings in non-infected patients after sternotomy. Methods: This is a prospective cohort study including non-infectious patients with sternotomy. All patients underwent 18F-FDG-PET/CT at either 5 weeks (group 1), 12 weeks (group 2) or 52 weeks (group 3) post-surgery. 18F-FDG uptake was scored visually in five categories and assessed quantitatively. Results: A total of 44 patients were included. Sternal mean SUVmax was 7.34 (± 1.86), 5.22 (± 2.55) and 3.20 (± 1.80) in group 1, 2 and 3, respectively (p < 0.01). Sternal mean SUVmean was 3.84 (± 1.00), 2.69 (± 1.32) and 1.71 (± 0.98) in group 1, 2 and 3 (p < 0.01). All patients in group 1 had elevated uptake whereas group 2 and 3 showed 2/15 (13%) and 11/20 (55%) patients respectively with no elevated uptake. Group 3 still showed an elevated uptake pattern in in 9/20 (45%) and in 3/9 (33%) with a high-grade diffuse uptake pattern. Conclusion: This study shows significant lower sternal 18F-FDG at 55 weeks compared to 5 weeks post-sternotomy however elevated uptake patterns may persist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1210–1218
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
Issue number3
Early online date8 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

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