"Endoscopic evaluationa diagnostic medical procedure in which a small, flexible tube with a light and lens is inserted into the body to assess the interior surfaces of an organis the gold standard to answer, 'What is the activity of this disease"'" said Hustinx. The answer to this question will decide whether the clinician prescribes a treatment that is likely to be effective but also very costly and associated with side effects. "Ileocolonoscopy is invasive, unpleasant for the patient, sometimes incomplete due to unreachable segments and can only assess mucosal lesions, while the disease may sometimes affect deeper parts of the bowel wall," he indicated.
"The big advantage of PET/CT is that it is noninvasive, simple, fast and without any side effects. There was no preparation for the patients, except that they fasted for six hours. Each study took less than 20 minutes," said Hustinx. "If the PET/CT is positive, the doctor should confirm the results using endoscopy. If the PET/CT is negative, there would be no need for the endoscopygiven the high negative predictive value of the technique," he added.
"In our study, all bowel areas that showed severe endoscopic lesions were correctly identified by PET/CT. There was not a single case in which the ileocolonoscopy showed severe lesions and PET/CT showed a normal metabolic activity," said Hustinx. "Conversely, this means that when the PET/CT is negativeno matter how important the clinical symptoms arethe disease is not active," he added. "PET/CT has, therefore, the potential to deeply modify the exploration algorithm of patients with Crohn's, reducing the number of endoscopic examinations and allowing a better, noninvasive monitoring of the disease's activity," he indicated.
PET/CT molecular imagingwith radioactive drugs such as FDGenables the collection of both biological and anatomical information during a single exam, with PET picki
Contact: Maryann Verrillo
Society of Nuclear Medicine