Catheter-Related Focal FDG Activity on Whole Body PET Imaging

Peeyush Bhargava, Rakesh Kumar, Hongming Zhuang, Martin Charron, Abass Alavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Introduction: Whole body FDG positron emission tomography (PET) scan is increasingly being used in the management of a variety of cancers and infections. Cancer patients and other very sick patients have central venous catheters, which could be associated with common complications like thrombosis and infections. We describe catheter-related focal FDG uptake on whole body FDG PET scans in 4 patients. Materials and Methods: Four patients underwent whole body FDG-PET scanning 60 minutes after intravenous injection of F18-FDG (2 for localization of site of infection, 1 for primary cancer site localization, and 1 for restaging of colon cancer). The whole body PET images were compared and correlated with the patients' history, radiology and laboratory tests. Results: Focal and intense FDG activity is seen in all 4 patients at the distal end of the intravenous catheter. The average SUV of this activity was 6.3 (n = 3). Catheter-related thrombosis was identified as the cause of FDG activity in 3 patients, whereas catheter-related infection was considered in one patient. Conclusion: Focal and intense FDG activity, in relation to the distal end of a central venous catheter, has a benign etiology, usually seen with catheter-related venous thrombosis and can be seen with catheter related infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-242
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Nuclear Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Catheter
  • Complications
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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