Evaluation of Musculoskeletal and Pulmonary Bacterial Infections With [124I]FIAU PET/CT

Steve Yoon Ho Cho, Steven P. Rowe, Sanjay K. Jain, Lew C. Schon, Rex C. Yung, Tariq A. Nayfeh, Clifton O. Bingham, Catherine A. Foss, Sridhar Nimmagadda, Martin G. Pomper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Imaging is limited in the evaluation of bacterial infection. Direct imaging of in situ bacteria holds promise for noninvasive diagnosis. We investigated the ability of a bacterial thymidine kinase inhibitor ([124I]FIAU) to image pulmonary and musculoskeletal infections. Methods: Thirty-three patients were prospectively accrued: 16 with suspected musculoskeletal infection, 14 with suspected pulmonary infection, and 3 with known rheumatoid arthritis without infection. Thirty-one patients were imaged with [124I]FIAU PET/CT and 28 with [18F]FDG PET/CT. Patient histories were reviewed by an experienced clinician with subspecialty training in infectious diseases and were determined to be positive, equivocal, or negative for infection. Results: Sensitivity, specificity, positive-predictive value, negative-predictive value, and accuracy of [124I]FIAU PET/CT for diagnosing infection were estimated as 7.7% to 25.0%, 0.0%, 50%, 0.0%, and 20.0% to 71.4% for musculoskeletal infections and incalculable-100.0%, 51.7% to 72.7%, 0.0% to 50.0%, 100.0%, and 57.1% to 78.6% for pulmonary infections, respectively. The parameters for [18F]FDG PET/CT were 75.0% to 92.3%, 0.0%, 23.1% to 92.3%, 0.0%, and 21.4% to 85.7%, respectively, for musculoskeletal infections and incalculable to 100.0%, 0.0%, 0.0% to 18.2%, incalculable, and 0.0% to 18.2% for pulmonary infections, respectively. Conclusions: The high number of patients with equivocal clinical findings prevented definitive conclusions from being made regarding the diagnostic efficacy of [124I]FIAU. Future studies using microbiology to rigorously define infection in patients and PET radiotracers optimized for image quality are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular imaging
StatePublished - 2020


  • PET
  • infection
  • molecular imaging
  • thymidine kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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