Using Nuclear Medicine Imaging Wisely in Diagnosing Infectious Diseases.
In recent years, there has been an increasing emphasis on efficient and accurate diagnostic testing, exemplified by the American Board of Internal Medicine's "Choosing Wisely" campaign. Nuclear imaging studies can provide early and accurate diagnoses of many infectious disease syndromes, particularly in complex cases where the differential remains broad. This review paper offers clinicians a rational, evidence-based guide to approaching nuclear medicine tests, using an example case of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) bacteremia in a patient with multiple potential sources. Fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) with computed tomography (CT) and sulfur colloid imaging with tagged white blood cell (WBC) scanning offer the most promise in facilitating rapid and accurate diagnoses of endovascular graft infections, vertebral osteomyelitis (V-OM), diabetic foot infections, and prosthetic joint infections (PJIs). However, radiologists at different institutions may have varying degrees of expertise with these modalities. Regardless, infectious disease consultants would benefit from knowing what nuclear medicine tests to order when considering patients with complex infectious disease syndromes .
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