Axillary lymph node visualization on F-18 FDG PET body scans in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

David W. Seldin, Ihsan Habib, Gabriel Soudry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


PURPOSE: We report benign axillary tracer uptake on F-18 FDG PET scans in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Axillary tracer uptake was observed in 9 patients who were undergoing PET for staging or restaging of malignancy. The uptake was not in a pattern that would be expected for the patients' known malignancies. Additional clinical information was obtained and quantitation of tracer uptake in the upper extremities and axillae was performed. RESULTS: All 9 patients were found to have rheumatoid arthritis. Increased axillary tracer uptake was bilateral in 7 patients and unilateral in 2 patients. In 8 of the patients the wrists were included in the field of view and showed elevated FDG uptake. On follow-up there was no evidence of malignancy in any of the axillary foci. CONCLUSION: Increased axillary tracer uptake on F-18 FDG PET scans can be seen in conjunction with increased uptake in the wrists in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and is not necessarily an indication of malignancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-526
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Nuclear Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes



  • F-18 FDG
  • Pitfalls
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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