Correlating cardiac F-18 FDG PET/CT results with intra-operative findings in infectious endocarditis

Sami El-Dalati*, Venkatesh L. Murthy, Anna B. Owczarczyk, Christopher Fagan, James Riddell, Sandro Cinti, Richard L. Weinberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Multiple studies have demonstrated that when incorporated with conventional imaging modalities, cardiac F-18 PET/CT can aid in diagnosis of endocarditis and improve the sensitivity of the Duke Criteria. These studies used as their gold standard the opinion of an endocarditis team and were characterized by low percentages of patients who underwent surgery. We reviewed 4 years of surgically managed IE cases where F-18 cardiac PET/CT was used to aid diagnosis. Methods: Between July 2014 and December 2018, we retrospectively reviewed 68 surgically managed endocarditis cases to identify patients who underwent pre-operative PET scans. Results: Fourteen patients were identified who underwent F-18 cardiac PET/CT prior to surgical intervention. Nine cases were classified as possible endocarditis by Duke Criteria and 8 involved prosthetic valves. Twelve out of fourteen scans were interpreted as suggestive of or consistent with endocarditis based on FDG uptake. Twelve positive PETs were associated with either operative findings of infection and/or positive PCR testing on the excised valve. Two patients with negative scans were found to have non-infectious mobile masses intra-operatively, negative valve cultures and negative pathology. Conclusion: In a small cohort, F-18 FDG cardiac PET/CT correlated closely with intra-operative findings in patients with endocarditis and helped guide surgical decision-making. It could be considered for addition to the Duke Criteria in the American Heart Association endocarditis guidelines similar to European protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Diagnostic
  • Infection
  • PET
  • Prognostic application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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