The efficacy of 18F-FDG PET/CT and 67Ga SPECT/CT in diagnosing fever of unknown origin

Bor Tau Hung, Pei Wen Wang, Yu Jih Su, Wen Chi Huang, Yen Hsiang Chang, Shu Hua Huang*, Chiung Chih Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective Fever of unknown origin (FUO) is a diagnostic challenge. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) and gallium-67 single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (67Ga SPECT/CT) in diagnosing FUO. Methods A total of 68 patients with FUO underwent 18F-FDG PET/CT and 67Ga SPECT/CT from January 2013 through May 2016. Images were read independently. The imaging results were compared with the final diagnosis and categorized as helpful for diagnosis or non-contributory to diagnosis in the clinical setting. Associations between categorical variables were evaluated with the chi-square test or Fisher's exact test. Results Ten of the 68 patients were excluded. An infectious underlying disease was found in 23 patients. A malignant disorder was the cause of FUO in 10 patients. Non-infectious inflammatory disease was found in 11 patients. Adrenal insufficiency was the cause of FUO in two patients. The cause of FUO was not found for 12 patients. A high false-positive rate of 44% (7/16) was observed for 18F-FDG PET/CT, while a high false-negative rate of 55% (23/42) was observed for 67Ga SPECT/CT. 18F-FDG PET/CT studies depicted all 67Ga-avid lesions. The sensitivity (79% vs. 45%) and clinical contribution (72% vs. 55%) of 18F-FDG PET/CT in diagnosing FUO were significantly higher than those of 67Ga SPECT/CT (p < 0.05). Conclusions On the basis of this study, the diagnostic performance of 18F-FDG PET/CT is superior to 67Ga SPECT/CT in the work-up of patients with FUO. With its rapid results and superior sensitivity, 18F-FDG PET/CT may replace 67Ga SPECT/CT where this technique is available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - 09 2017

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  • Fever of unknown origin


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