| ORIGINAL ARTICLE
|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 248-258
Why is it important to report early possible COVID-19 PET/CT findings in cancer patients? Explaining with a case series
Duygu Tekin1, Emine Budak2, Banu Yoldas3, Adnan Budak4
1 Department of Microbiology, Tepecik Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Izmir Dr. Suat Seren Chest Diseases and Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
3 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Izmir Dr. Suat Seren Chest Diseases and Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tepecik Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
Background: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) causing a pandemic mostly results in mild symptoms; however, it can evolve into serious complications. It is emphasized that if the term from the recent anticancer treatment to the diagnosis of COVID-19 was short, the probability of serious events increased in cancer patients. Therefore, early detection of COVID-19 and prevention of serious events is very important. We aimed to investigate whether it is possible to detect COVID-19 early by positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT).
Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the images and clinical findings of patients who underwent PET/CT due to malignancy and whose COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test were detected positive subsequently.
Results: Eight cancer patients with positive COVID-19 PCR tests were included in the study. PET/CT revealed subpleural ground-glass opacities (GGOs) showing mild fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake that could be compatible with COVID-19 in 4 of 8 patients. The number of affected lobes ranged from 1-4. All patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 by PCR test when symptoms and/or lung findings worsened on the days after PET/CT. The time interval between the last anticancer treatment and COVID-19 diagnosis in five patients was ≤7 days. During the follow-up, six of the cases (75%) needed mechanical ventilation and died later.
Conclusion: COVID-19 may be recognised early by detecting incidental findings in PET/CT, especially in asymptomatic cancer patients. Potential complications may be prevented by early diagnosis and anticancer therapy changes. Therefore, possible COVID-19 findings in PET/CT should be reported and the patient should be referred to relevant clinician.
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Izmir Dr. Suat Seren Chest Diseases and Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Izmir
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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