BMC Med Imaging. 2023 Jan 10;23(1):9. doi: 10.1186/s12880-022-00957-5.
BACKGROUND: Total-body positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scanners are characterized by higher signal collection efficiency and greater spatial resolution compared to conventional scanners, allowing for delayed imaging and improved image quality. These advantages may also lead to better detection of physiological processes that diagnostic imaging professionals should be aware of. The gallbladder (GB) is not usually visualized as an 18F-2-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG)-avid structure in routine clinical PET/CT studies; however, with the total-body PET/CT, we have been increasingly visualizing GB activity without it being involved in an inflammatory or neoplastic process. The aim of this study was to report visualization rates and characteristics of GB 18F-FDG uptake observed in both healthy and oncological subjects scanned on a total-body PET/CT system.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Scans from 73 participants (48 healthy and 25 with newly diagnosed lymphoma) who underwent 18F-FDG total-body PET/CT were retrospectively reviewed. Subjects were scanned at multiple timepoints up to 3 h post-injection. Gallbladder 18F-FDG activity was graded using liver uptake as a reference, and the pattern was qualified as present in the wall, lumen, or both. Participants’ characteristics, such as age, sex, body-mass index, blood glucose, and other clinical parameters, were collected to assess for any significant correlation with GB 18F-FDG uptake.
RESULTS: All 73 subjects showed GB uptake at one or more imaging timepoints. An increase in uptake intensity overtime was observed up until the 180-min scan, and the visualization rate of GB 18F-FDG uptake was 100% in the 120- and 180-min post-injection scans. GB wall uptake was detected in a significant number of patients (44/73, 60%), especially at early timepoint scans, whereas luminal activity was detected in 71/73 (97%) subjects, especially at later timepoint scans. No significant correlation was found between GB uptake intensity/pattern and subjects’ characteristics.
CONCLUSION: The consistent observation of GB 18F-FDG uptake recorded in this study in healthy participants and subjects with a new oncological diagnosis indicates that this is a normal physiologic finding rather than representing an exception.