Role of 2-[18f]fdg as a radiopharmaceutical for pet/ct in patients with covid-19: A systematic review

Salvatore Annunziata, Roberto C. Delgado Bolton, Christel Hermann Kamani, John O. Prior, Domenico Albano, Francesco Bertagna, Giorgio Treglia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Some recent studies evaluated the role of fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (2-[18F]FDG) as a radiopharmaceutical for positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging in patients with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). This article aims to perform a systematic review in this setting. A comprehensive computer literature search in PubMed/MEDLINE and Cochrane library databases regarding the role of 2-[18F]FDG PET/CT in patients with COVID-19 was carried out. This combination of key words was used: (A) “PET” OR “positron emission tomography” AND (B) “COVID” OR “SARS”. Only pertinent original articles were selected; case reports and very small case series were excluded. We have selected 11 original studies of 2-[18F]FDG PET/CT in patients with COVID-19. Evidence-based data showed first preliminary applications of this diagnostic tool in this clinical setting, with particular regard to the incidental detection of interstitial pneumonia suspected for COVID-19. To date, according to evidence-based data, 2-[18F]FDG PET/CT cannot substitute or integrate high-resolution CT to diagnose suspicious COVID-19 or for disease monitoring, but it can only be useful to incidentally detect suspicious COVID-19 lesions in patients performing this imaging method for standard oncological and non-oncological indications. Published data about the possible role of 2-[18F]FDG PET/CT in patients with COVID-19 are increasing, but larger studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number377
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • COVID-19
  • FDG
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose
  • Infection
  • PET
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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