Role of FDG-PET/CT in children with fever of unknown origin

Pijl, J. P., Kwee, T. C., Legger, G. E., Peters, H. J. H., Armbrust, W., Schölvinck, E. H. & Glaudemans, A. W. J. M., Jun-2020, In : European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. 47, 6, p. 1596-1604 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

PURPOSE: To determine the role of 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET)/computed tomography (CT) in children with fever of unknown origin (FUO).

METHODS: This retrospective single-center study included 110 children (0-18 years) with FUO who underwent FDG-PET/CT between 2010 and 2019. The diagnostic value of FDG-PET/CT for identifying cause of fever was calculated, treatment modifications after FDG-PET/CT were assessed, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify clinical and biochemical factors associated with FDG-PET/CT outcome.

RESULTS: In 53 out of 110 patients (48%), FDG-PET/CT identified a (true positive) cause of fever. Endocarditis (11%), systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (5%), and inflammatory bowel disorder (5%) were the most common causes of FUO. In 42 patients (38%), no cause of fever was found on FDG-PET/CT. In 58 out of 110 patients (53%), treatment modifications were made after FDG-PET/CT. FDG-PET/CT achieved a sensitivity of 85.5%, specificity of 79.2%, positive predictive value of 84.1%, and negative predictive value of 80.9%. On multivariate logistic regression, C-reactive protein was positively associated with finding a true positive focus of fever on FDG-PET/CT (OR = 1.01 (95% CI 1.00-1.02) per mg/L increase in CRP), while leukocyte count was negatively associated with finding a true positive focus of fever (OR = 0.91 (95% CI 0.85-0.97) per 109 leukocytes/L increase).

CONCLUSION: FDG-PET/CT is a valuable diagnostic tool in the evaluation of children with FUO, since it may detect a true underlying cause in almost half (48%) of all cases where none was found otherwise. It allows full-body evaluation in patients without disease-specific symptoms on one examination. CRP and leukocyte count were significantly associated with FDG-PET/CT results, which may contribute to a priori assessment on the outcome of FDG-PET/CT. Future research could be aimed at evaluating more patient-specific factors to prospectively estimate the added value of FDG-PET/CT in children with FUO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1596-1604
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number6
Early online date7-Feb-2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2020

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