What is the role of PET scanning in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis (GCA) (temporal arteritis)?

Updated: Sep 03, 2020
  • Author: Mythili Seetharaman, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning with 18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake has been used to evaluate the vasculitic process within large vessels such as the thoracic aorta. [109] In a retrospective case-control study by Nielsen et al that evaluated 18-FDG PET/CT in 44 patients with GCA and 44 controls, FDG uptake in the temporal and/or maxillary artery had sensitivity of 64% and specificity of 100% for the diagnosis of GCA. Including the vertebral arteries in the assessment increased sensitivity to 82%, with specificity remaining 100%. Because of the high specificity, the authors suggest that TAB can be omitted in patients whose PET/CT shows 18F-FDG uptake in the cranial arteries. [110]

For further discussion, see Giant Cell Arteritis Imaging.


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