Potential and most relevant applications of total body PET/CT imaging

Abass Alavi, Babak Saboury, Lorenzo Nardo, Vincent Zhang, Meiyun Wang, Hongdi Li, William Y. Raynor, Thomas J. Werner, Poul F. Høilund-Carlsen, Mona Elisabeth Revheim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The introduction of total body (TB) PET/CTinstruments over the past 2 years has initiated a new and exciting era in medical imaging. These instruments have substantially higher sensitivity (up to 68 times) than conventional modalities and therefore allow imaging the entire body over a short period. However, we need to further refine the imaging protocols of this instrument for different indications. Total body PETwill allow accurate assessment of the extent of disease, particularly, including the entire axial and appendicular skeleton. Furthermore, delayed imaging with this instrument may enhance the sensitivity of PET for some types of cancer. Also, this modality may improve the detection of venous thrombosis, a common complication of cancer and chemotherapy, in the extremities and help prevent pulmonary embolism. Total body PET allows assessment of atherosclerotic plaques throughout the body as a systematic disease. Similarly, patients with widespread musculoskeletal disorders including both oncologic and nononcologic entities, such as degenerative joint disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis, may benefit from the use of TB-PET. Finally, quantitative global disease assessment provided by this approach will be superior to conventional measurements, which do not reflect overall disease activity. In conclusion, TB-PET imaging may have a revolutionary impact on day-to-day practice of medicine and may become the leading imaging modality in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalClinical nuclear medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • FDG
  • Global disease assessment
  • Musculoskeletal disease
  • NaF
  • Total body PET
  • Vascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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