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11-04-2016 | Vasculitis | Review | Article

Use of FDG-PET Scan for the Assessment of Large Vessel Vasculitis

Current Treatment Options in Rheumatology

Author: MD, PhD Daniel Blockmans

Publisher: Springer International Publishing


Temporal artery biopsy will only detect (part of) the cranial forms of giant cell arteritis. For the large vessel variant of this type of vasculitis, FDG-PET is the technique of choice. Since treatment of large vessel vasculitis implies long-term treatment with steroids, it is important to have a firm diagnosis. I suggest performing a FDG-PET scan in every patient in whom large vessel vasculitis is suspected and in whom the temporal artery biopsy is negative. In the follow-up of giant cell arteritis patients, we can rely on clinical symptoms and inflammatory parameters to monitor disease activity and to adapt our treatment and do not need to repeat FDG-PET scan. In Takayasu arteritis, follow-up FDG-PET scans are probably necessary to assess ongoing inflammation, but prospective studies are lacking.

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