There is an increased need to find non-invasive tools for early diagnosis and follow-up of infections. Nuclear medicine techniques may be used to diagnose, localize and evaluate the severity and the extent of infections before the occurrence of anatomical abnormalities.
This review focuses on different approaches based on radiolabelled cells, peptides and antibodies or [18F]FDG to image infective diseases in agreement with what is being jointly evaluated by the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM).
This is particularly relevant, since the EANM has strated a wide program of collaboration with other European clinical societies to define common diagnostic flow-charts in many of these infective diseases.
It emerges the role of radiolabelled WBC by SPECT/CT for prosthetic joint infections and of FDG by PET/CT for spondylodiscitis. Comparable values of accuracy have been described for WBC and FDG in the diagnosis of vascular fgraft infections, diabetic gfoot, endocarditis and peripheral bone osteomyelitis, with some exceptions.
Keywords: Nuclear medicine, radiopharmaceutical, Infection imaging, hybrid imaging, [18F]FDG, WBC.
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