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Increased Metabolic Activity of the Thymus and Lymph Nodes in Pediatric Oncology Patients After Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination.

We hypothesized that 18 F-FDG PET/MRI would reveal thymus activation in children after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the 18 F-FDG PET/MRI scans of 6 children with extrathoracic cancer before and after COVID-19 vaccination. We compared pre- and postvaccination SUVmax , mean apparent diffusion coefficient, and size of the thymus and axillary lymph nodes using a paired t test. Results: All 6 patients showed increased 18 F-FDG uptake in the axillary lymph nodes after vaccination ( P = 0.03). In addition, these patients demonstrated increased 18 F-FDG uptake in the thymus. When compared with baseline, the postvaccination scans of these patients demonstrated an increased mean thymic SUV ( P = 0.02), increased thymic size ( P = 0.13), and decreased thymic mean apparent diffusion coefficient ( P = 0.08). Conclusion: 18 F-FDG PET/MRI can reveal thymus activation in addition to local lymph node reactions in children after COVID-19 vaccination.

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