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Infection imaging with radiopharmaceuticals in the 21st century

DOI: 10.1590/S1516-89132002000500005

Keywords: radiopharmaceuticals, imaging, infection, inflammation, radiolabelled anti-infectives, 99mtc- ciprofloxacin.

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Abstract:

infection continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. nuclear medicine has an important role in aiding the diagnosis of particularly deep-seated infections such as abscesses, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, endocarditis, and infections of prosthetic devices. established techniques such as radiolabelled leucocytes are sensitive and specific for inflammation but do not distinguish between infective and non-infective inflammation. the challenge for nuclear medicine in infection imaging in the 21st century is to build on the recent trend towards the development of more infection specific radiopharmaceuticals, such as radiolabelled anti-infectives (e.g. 99mtc- ciprofloxacin). in addition to aiding early diagnosis of infection, through serial imaging these agents might prove very useful in monitoring the response to and determining the optimum duration of anti-infective therapy. this article reviews the current approach to infection imaging with radiopharmaceuticals and the future direction it might take.

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