May 21, 2015
In a prospective cohort study of 25 patients with prosthetic vascular graft infections treated with systemic antibiotics, the use of FDG-PET/CT for monitoring of metabolic activity within the graft was effective at determining infection status and was used to alter the course of antibiotic therapy in all patients.
Study Rundown: Prosthetic vascular graft infections (PVGI) are associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality and are often treated with both surgical interventions as well as systemic antibiotic therapy. Systemic treatment typically lasts 3-6 months, however, there are no current guidelines for the monitoring of therapeutic response, though common practice trends blood biomarkers such as white blood cell counts and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. Previous studies have demonstrated the use of positron emission tomography/computed tomography with 18F-fluorodexoyglucose (FDG-PET/CT) to monitor a known infectious site for decreased metabolic activity within the foci of infection. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of FDG-PET/CT for therapy control in PVGI under the hypothesis that visualization of metabolic activity within a given infected graft may be a superior marker of infection in guiding antibiotic choice and treatment course.