FDG-PET/CT as a modality is increasingly used for detection of recurrence and for restaging in patients with clinical suspicion of malignancy, as well as in patients with elevated tumor markers. However, there are many pitfalls in the interpretation of these scans when the studies are performed after some treatment. Some of these are attributed to normal physiological distribution and are compounded when there are inflammatory changes occurring after surgery. The body's inherent response to the surgical insult results in this inflammation. In addition, there are also complications that can happen following surgery, causing increased FDG uptake. Despite various fallacies, FDG-PET/CT provides valuable information in evaluation of residual and recurrent malignant disease. In this article, we aim to describe some of these postsurgical changes secondary to inflammation, common surgical complications, and finally, the utility of FDG-PET/CT in these patients to detect recurrent disease, even in the background of postsurgical changes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging