18F-FDG-PET/CT as adjunctive diagnostic modalities in canine fever of unknown origin

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Grobman M, Cohn L, Knapp S, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2018;59:107-115.

Fever of unknown origin (FUO) is a persistent or recurrent fever for which the underlying source has not been identified despite diagnostic investigation. In people, 18F-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG-PET) alone or in combination with computed tomography (CT) is often beneficial in detecting the source of fever when other diagnostics have failed. Veterinary reports describing use of these modalities in animals with fever of unknown origin are currently lacking. Aims of this retrospective case series were to describe 18F-FDG-PET or 18F-FDG-PET/CT findings in a group of dogs with fever of unknown origin. Dogs presenting to a single center between April 2012 and August 2015 were included. A total of four dogs met inclusion criteria and underwent either positron emission tomography (n = 2) or positron emission tomography/CT (n = 2) as a part of their diagnostic investigation. All subjects underwent extensive diagnostic testing prior to 18F-FDG-PET/CT. Initial diagnostic evaluation failed to identify either a cause of fever or an anatomic location of disease in these four dogs. In each dog, positron emission tomography or positron emission tomography/CT was either able to localize or rule out the presence of focal lesion thereby allowing for directed sampling and/or informed disease treatment. Follow up 18F-FDG-PET/CT scans performed in two patients showed improvement of observed abnormalities (n = 1) or detected recurrence of disease allowing for repeated treatment before clinical signs recurred (n = 1). Fever resolved after specific treatment in each dog. Findings from the current study supported the use of positron emission tomography or positron emission tomography/CT as adjunctive imaging modalities for diagnosis and gauging response to therapy in dogs with fever of unknown origin.