Acute pancreatitis (AP) may range from mild discomfort to a severe, life-threatening illness. Most people with acute pancreatitis recover completely after getting the right treatment. In severe cases, acute pancreatitis can result in bleeding into the gland, serious tissue damage, infection, and cyst formation. The ability to accurately identify and diagnose AP before the onset of severe symptoms could affect treatment choices and improve clinical outcomes for patients.
A new study, published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, showed how the imaging procedure can be used to diagnose infection in pancreatic or peripancreatic fluid collections. Utilizing PET/CT with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-labeled leukocytes, researchers from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in India, led by Anish Bhattacharya, demonstrated the advantages of multi-modality imaging in the early detection of acute pancreatitis (AP).
Every patient had been previously diagnosed with AP and underwent medical imaging that produced radiologic evidence of fluid collection in or around the afflicted organ. The radiotracer 18F-FDG was added to leukocytes that had been isolated from the participants’ blood, and then administered intravenously to the patients. The patients then underwent PET/CT imaging two hours after receiving the radiotracer. Final diagnosis of AP was based on microbiologic culture of fluid aspirated from the collection.
According to the study authors, the specificity and accuracy of PET/CT scans was 100 percent in 35 out of 41 patients whose fluid culture reports were available for review. The findings indicate that the use of multi-modality imaging in combination with 18F-FDG-labeled leukocytes is a noninvasive and reliable method to early diagnosis of pancreatic infections.
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