Dennis R. de Leon,
Emerita A. Barrenechea,
Jonas Y. Santiago
Publication Sub Type
Clinical trials/Clinical investigations (RCT's)
The Philippine Journal of Nuclear Medicine
The value of PET in the evaluation of various disease states, particularly in oncology, has been well documented. Compared with its widespread application in adults, clinical use of PET in pediatrics is limited. Concerns of radiation exposure to the child, as well as lack of studies evaluating the diagnostic benefit of PET/CT in children, are a contributing factor. This study was conducted to review the usefulness of PET and PET/CT in the evaluation of pediatric patients and to identify unique FDG physiologic distribution in the sample population. All pediatric patients referred for PET scan from March 2002 - September 2010 were included in the study. The indication for referral was predominantly oncology-related (93.5%). Of the 85 patients included, PET/CT was able to detect new sites of metastases in 5 patients and help resolve equivocal CT findings in 12 patients. Of six patients presenting with seizures, PET successfully localized hypometabolic areas in the brain in all cases, as probable seizures foci. Physiologic distribution of F18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)was noted in the thymus, adenoids/tonsils, laryngeal area and supraclavicular brown fat. PET/CT is useful in selective pediatric cases. Its value in effectively evaluating pediatric malignancies allows for early initiation of appropriate treatment and discourages unnecessary diagnostics and treatments for benign lesions. Physiologic uptake unique to children should be considered to avoid misinterpretations, reduce unnecessary treatments and follow-ups as well as provide an overall improvement in patient care.