Molecular Imaging of Inflammation and Infection

Christopher J. Palestro, Darlene Metter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


In spite of advances in its prevention and treatment, infection remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. While symptoms, signs, and abnormal laboratory tests may suggest infection, the diagnosis is not always obvious, and imaging tests often are used for confirmation and localization. Radiologic imaging such as X-rays, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasonography depicts structural alterations in tissues and organs that are caused by a combination of the infection itself and the host’s response to the infection. Molecular imaging procedures utilizing radiopharmaceuticals, such as labeled leukocytes, gallium, and fluorodeoxyglucose, reflect the physiological changes that are part of the inflammatory process. Currently, gallium-67 citrate imaging is used for differentiating interstitial nephritis from acute tubular necrosis and as a substitute for 18F-FDG for indications such as sarcoid, spondylodiscitis, and fever of unknown origin, when the latter is not available. In vitro labeled leukocyte imaging is the imaging test of choice for most infections in the immunocompetent population. Over the past two decades, 18F-FDG has established itself as the molecular imaging agent of choice for fever of unknown origin, vasculitis, sarcoid, and spondylodiscitis. This chapter reviews the role of these agents in the detection and localization of inflammation and infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationClinical Nuclear Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783030394578
ISBN (Print)9783030394554
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • FDG
  • FUO
  • Gallium
  • Infection
  • Labeled leukocytes
  • Osteomyelitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular Imaging of Inflammation and Infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this