Indian Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Home | About IJNM | Search | Current Issue | Past Issues | Instructions | Ahead of Print | Online submissionLogin 
Indian Journal of Nuclear Medicine
  Editorial Board | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact
Users Online: 1575 Print this page  Email this page Small font size Default font size Increase font size
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 357-361

Incidentally detected COVID-19 lung changes during oncologic fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computerized tomography studies: Experience from tertiary care cancer hospital

Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nilendu C Purandare
Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijnm.ijnm_94_21

Rights and Permissions

Objective: The objective is to evaluate incidental detection of COVID-19 lung involvement in asymptomatic individuals who undergo fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography-computerized tomography (PET/CT) scans for oncologic indications. Patients and Methods: The study was conducted in a tertiary care oncology hospital and included patients who were asymptomatic for COVID-19 infection and underwent FDG PET/CT scans for standard oncologic indications between April 15, 2020, and September 30, 2020. Patients who showed CO-RADS category 4/5 changes (high level of suspicion) on the CT chest component of the PET/CT study were considered for analysis. CT severity score, presence of FDG uptake, and maximum standardized uptake value of FDG avid lung involvement were noted and correlated with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. Results: 1982 PET/CT scans were performed, 78 (3.9%) patients showed lung changes with high degree of suspicion of COVID-19 pneumonia (CO-RADS 4/5). Hematolymphoid and head-neck cancer were the most common tumor types (23%), and restaging/response evaluation was the most common PET/CT indication. Of the patients who underwent RT-PCR testing, 70% showed a positive result. The mean CT severity score was 6 (standard deviation 5.9) with no significant difference seen between the RT-PCR positive and negative groups. FDG avidity in lung lesions was noted in 41 out 57 (72%) patients. A significant correlation was seen between the RT-PCR positivity and FDG uptake in lung lesions. Conclusion: A small but significant proportion of patients undergoing routine oncologic PET/CT scans showed incidental COVID-19 lung involvement. Lung involvement in these asymptomatic patients showed a low CT severity score in all patients and FDG avidity in majority. Timely detection of such incidental cases can initiate further confirmatory RT-PCR testing and isolation measures that not only influence patient's cancer treatment protocols but also have a larger community impact of limiting the spread of infection.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded108    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal