"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
Contact: Maryann Verrillo
Society of Nuclear Medicine