Don’t use 18F-FDG (Fluorodeoxyglucose) PET-CT as a “screening” test for cancer in healthy subjects.

Type of practice




Topic Area

Nuclear Medicine

According to our North-America colleagues (SNMMI) we suggest that 18F-FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose) PET-CT must not be applied as a screening test for cancer. At the moment the use of PET-CT in oncology is appropriated only in the presence of a reasonable doubt of cancer according to clinical and laboratory findings. The use as screening test in large healthy population is not advisable due to the low probability to find a cancer in these subjects (inferior to 1%), in the face of a significant number of false positive lesions to be characterized using other diagnostic techniques also invasive and hazardous (biopsy or surgery)


1. Schider H, Gonen M. Screening fo cancer with PET and PET/CT: potential and limitations. J Nucl Med 2007;48:4s18s.
2. Ide M, Suzuki Y. Is whole-body FDG-PET valuable for health screening? Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2005; 32: 339-341.
3. Weckesser M, Schober O. Is Whole-body FDG-PET valuable for health screening? Against. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2005; 32: 342-343.

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