WASHINGTON, D.C.Removing infected vascular grafts in patients involves a complex surgical procedure with high risks. Molecular imaging with positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) effectively diagnoses and differentiates infection, noted Israeli researchers at the 54th Annual Meeting of SNM, the world's largest society for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine professionals.
"Our pioneering results show that PET/CT imaging has the potential to become a single-step, noninvasive technique for diagnosis of infection with a complex group of patients," explained Ora Israel, director of nuclear medicine and research operations at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel. "Infected blood vessel graftswhile uncommonare removed in a complex surgical procedure, " said Israel. "Sparing unnecessary high-risk operations in patientswho are often severely debilitatedis of major significance," she added. "PET/CT imaging fluorodeoxyglucose or FDGcan effectively diagnose graft involvement and differentiate it from infection that affects only soft tissue infection in its vicinity," she added. These two processes are treated differently. Infection of a graft requires surgery to remove the involved implant, while infection of the soft tissues in the vicinity of the graft requires mainly intravenous administration of high doses of antibiotics, she noted.
Israel explained that diagnosing a prosthetic (biological or synthetic) vascular graft infection can be a clinical challenge, andmaking the situation even more difficultearly treatment is important due to the relatively high rates of limb damage that that can lead to amputation and death. "Ours is the first study to use the hybrid imaging technology of PET/CT in order to provide a solution for this difficult diagnostic problem. PET/CT demonstrates that it provides accurate detection and precise localization of vascular graft-related infections," she said.