Advantages of 18f-fdg pet/ct imaging over modified duke criteria and clinical presumption in patients with challenging suspicion of infective endocarditis

Valentin Pretet, Cyrille Blondet, Yvon Ruch, Matias Martinez, Soraya El Ghannudi, Olivier Morel, Yves Hansmann, Thomas H. Schindler, Alessio Imperiale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


According to European Society of Cardiology guidelines (ESC2015) for infective endo-carditis (IE) management, modified Duke criteria (mDC) are implemented with a degree of clinical suspicion degree, leading to grades such as “possible” or “rejected” IE despite a persisting high level of clinical suspicion. Herein, we evaluate the18 F-FDG PET/CT diagnostic and therapeutic impact in IE suspicion, with emphasis on possible/rejected IE with a high clinical suspicion. Excluding cases of definite IE diagnosis, 53 patients who underwent18 F-FDG PET/CT for IE suspicion were selected and afterwards classified according to both mDC (possible IE/Duke 1, rejected IE/Duke 0) and clinical suspicion degree (high and low IE suspicion). The final status regarding IE diagnosis (gold standard) was based on the multidisciplinary decision of the Endocarditis Team, including the ‘imaging specialist’. PET/CT images of the cardiac area were qualitatively interpreted and the intensity of each focus of extra-physiologic18 F-FDG uptake was evaluated by a maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) measurement. Extra-cardiac18 F-FDG PET/CT pathological findings were considered to be a possible embolic event, a possible source of IE, or even a concomitant infection. Based on the Endocarditis Team consensus, final diagnosis of IE was retained in 19 (36%) patients and excluded in 34 (64%). With a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and global accuracy of 79%, 100%, 100%, 89%, and 92%, respectively, PET/CT performed significantly better than mDC (p = 0.003), clinical suspicion degree (p = 0.001), and a combination of both (p = 0.001) for IE diagnosis. In 41 patients with possible/rejected IE but high clinical suspicion, sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and global accuracies were 78%, 100%, 100%, 85%, and 90%, respectively. Moreover, PET/CT contributed to patient management in 24 out of 53 (45%) cases.18 F-FDG PET/CT represents a valuable diagnostic tool that could be proposed for challenging IE cases with significant differences between mDC and clinical suspicion degree.18 F-FDG PET/CT allows a binary diagnosis (definite or rejected IE) by removing uncertain diagnostic situations, thus improving patient therapeutic management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number720
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • 18F-FDG PET/CT
  • Infective endocarditis
  • Modified Duke criteria


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