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Phd ceremony A.W.J.M. Glaudemans: Nuclear medicine strategies to image infectious and inflammatory diseases

When:We 12-02-2014 14:00 - 15:00
Where:aula

Infectious and inflammatory diseases form a heterogeneous class of diseases. They can be localized or systemic, and classified as infection, acute inflammation or chronic inflammation, each of which has specific characteristics. In the clinical setting it is very important to diagnose early occult infections and to differentiate between infection and sterile inflammation. Nuclear medicine can image infection and inflammation by specifically targeting the involved cells, molecules, and mediators of infection and inflammation. The progress in our understanding and knowledge of the pathophysiology of infectious and inflammatory diseases has led to the development of several new and specific tracers that are useful to diagnose infection and inflammation and can help to differentiate between the two entities. Moreover, nuclear medicine techniques may offer the unique possibility to evaluate disease activity and efficacy of therapy, and may have a role in monitoring relapse of disease. This thesis aims to gain more insights in how to perform diagnostic procedures in infection and inflammation, to compare different nuclear medicine techniques with each other and with conventional radiological imaging techniques, to evaluate specific tracers for specific diseases, and to develop future concepts and new strategies when to use which nuclear medicine technique in which part of the diagnostic pathway. The first part of the thesis consists of nuclear imaging methods in infectious diseases (musculoskeletal infections, diabetic foot infections and vascular prosthesis infections). The second part addresses the use of nuclear techniques in inflammatory diseases (vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques and amyloidosis). The last chapter emphasizes four important concepts that are worth for future investigation: the potential role of 18F-FDG-PET/CT in therapy evaluation, the targeting of specific disease characteristics for personalized medicine, new developments in hybrid imaging techniques (PET/MRI) and the development of commonly used diagnostic and therapeutic flowcharts.