JOURNAL ARTICLE

Physiologic thymic uptake of 18F-FDG in children and young adults: a PET/CT evaluation of incidence, patterns, and relationship to treatment

Jacqueline Jerushalmi, Alex Frenkel, Rachel Bar-Shalom, Jabour Khoury, Ora Israel
Journal of Nuclear Medicine 2009, 50 (6): 849-53
19443604

UNLABELLED: (18)F-FDG uptake in the thymus, mainly related to hyperplasia after chemotherapy, has been described. Thymic uptake can challenge the accurate assessment of cancer patients by (18)F-FDG imaging. The present study defines the incidence, patterns, and intensity of thymic (18)F-FDG uptake in relationship to age and time after treatment in a large cohort of patients.

METHODS: A total of 559 consecutive (18)F-FDG PET/CT studies in 160 patients (86 men, 74 women; age, 3-40 y) performed at baseline, during treatment, at the end of treatment, and during follow-up were retrospectively reviewed. PET/CT studies were assessed for the presence or absence (T+ or T-, respectively), pattern, and intensity (SUVmax) of increased (18)F-FDG uptake in the anterior mediastinum, localized by the CT component to the thymus. The overall incidence of (18)F-FDG avidity in the thymus in relationship to the patient's age and time after treatment administration were statistically evaluated.

RESULTS: There were 137 of 559 T+ studies (25%), with equal sex distribution. T+ studies were found in significantly younger patients (20.6 +/- 9.3 y vs. 27.4 +/- 8.4 y, P < 0.001). Most T+ patients (60%) showed an inverted V pattern of thymic uptake, with additional unilateral mediastinal extension in 24% and focal midline uptake in 16% of studies. T+ studies were encountered in 80% of patients younger than 10 y, compared with 8% of patients in the 31- to 40-y age group. There were 17% T+ studies at baseline, 6% during treatment, 8% at the end of treatment, and 27%-40% during follow-up. The average SUVmax of thymic (18)F-FDG uptake was 3.73 +/- 1.22.

CONCLUSION: Thymic (18)F-FDG uptake was found in 28% of the present study population, more frequently after treatment. T+ patients were significantly younger. Thymic uptake was found in 73% of untreated patients up to the age of 13 y and in 8% of patients in the fourth decade of life. Knowledge of this age- and treatment-related incidence of physiologic thymic (18)F-FDG avidity can reduce the number of potential pitfalls in reporting PET/CT studies in cancer patients.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
19443604
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"