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FDG PET takes its place as a valuable tool in diagnosing fevers of unknown origin

SAN DIEGO, Calif.--By providing early diagnosis of fevers of unknown origin in patients, positron emission tomography (PET)--with the radiotracer fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)--eliminates the need for additional exhaustive and invasive tests, say researchers from university and community hospitals in the Netherlands. Their findings were presented during SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 37 in San Diego.

"PET has the potential to make an enormous impact in providing earlier diagnosis and risk stratification, in delivering the right therapy early and in avoiding long in-patient hospital stays," said Wim J.G. Oyen, nuclear medicine physician and professor of nuclear medicine at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. "For patients with fever of unknown origin, FDG PET offers the chance for earlier diagnosis with fewer diagnostic procedures and an earlier start of adequate treatment. For referring physicians, FDG PET offers the opportunity to shorten the diagnostic process, which is now often performed during a long in-patient evaluation--in many cases over many weeks," added the co-author of "A Prospective Multicenter Study of the Value of FDG PET as Part of a Structured Diagnostic Protocol in Patients With Fever of Unknown Origin."

When an individual's temperature reaches 101 degrees Fahrenheit on and off for at least three weeks and health care providers cannot diagnose the cause, the patient is considered to have a fever of unknown origin. Research suggests that fever helps fight off infections, and treating the fever without knowing the cause may reduce the body's ability to deal with the possible infection. So patients undergo numerous tests to narrow down the possible causes, such as infections (tuberculosis, mononucleosis, HIV, pneumonia, meningitis), cancer (leukemia, Hodgkin's disease) or collagen vascular disease (rheumatoid arthritis). In some cases, the tests fail to explain the reason for the fever, said Oyen. "Fe
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@snm.org
703-708-9000
Society of Nuclear Medicine
5-Jun-2006


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