International Journal of Cardiology and Lipidology Research  (Volume 5 Issue 2)
Scintigraphic Evaluation of Endocarditis  IJCLR-JHome
Pages 8-13

Wilhelm P Mistiaen


Published: 04 November2018


Introduction: Infective endocarditis (IE) is a very heterogeneous condition for several reasons. The diagnosis can be notoriously difficult. A delay in diagnosis can have severe consequences. Even proper application of the Duke criteria cannot solve all cases. For this reason, positron emission tomography / computer tomography (PET/CT) with 18F-fluorodesoxyglucose (18FDG) has been proposed in the 2015 guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology. What has been the effect of these guidelines thus far?

Methods: A probe of the literature has been performed in PubMed, from 2016 on using the search terms “endocarditis AND PET”

Results: One hundred items were identified, of which 41 documents could be retained. However, only 16 were original series, mostly with low numbers. The other manuscripts were editorials, comments, reviews and “image vignettes”. PET/CT increased the sensitivity of the Duke criteria in cases of prosthetic valve endocarditis (PVE), but in a much lesser degree in native valve endocarditis (NVE). Patient preparation should be standardized in order to reduce the uptake of 18FDG by the myocardium. This includes low carbohydrate – high fat diet, fasting and unfractionated heparin administration. Furthermore, image acquisition and processing (quantification, correction for attenuation, taking into account implanted metallic materials) should also be standardized. Effects of antibiotics (negative imaging results before cure) and inflammation (especially healing after operation and use of biological glue materials) should be taken into account. Radiolabeled white blood cell scintigraphy could be a valuable adjunct in these cases. The detection of extra-cardiac foci (especially tumors which can serve as port of entry and septic emboli) is an additional advantage.

Conclusion: PET/CT seems a valuable tool to increase the accuracy in diagnosing IE, especially PVE. Early postoperative cases must be interpreted with caution. To confirm the value of PET/CT, the major centers should standardize their method. This allows comparison of results of larger patient groups, which could be collected in the International Collaboration of Endocarditis – Prospective Cohort Study. Nuclear cardiologists should also be included in “endocarditis teams.

  Infective endocarditis, Positron emission tomography, Native valve, Valve prosthesis, Duke criteria.


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