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THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING

A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging


A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Affiliated to the Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences and to the International Research Group of Immunoscintigraphy
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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2018 March;62(1):14-33

DOI: 10.23736/S1824-4785.17.03046-1

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Radiological and nuclear medicine imaging of sarcoidosis

Anna R. LARICI 1, Andor W. GLAUDEMANS 2, Annemilia DEL CIELLO 1, Riemer H. SLART 2,3, Lucio CALANDRIELLO 1 , Olivier GHEYSENS 4

1 Diagnostic Imaging, Institute of Radiology, Sacro Cuore Catholic University, Policlinico A. Gemelli Foundation, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Medical Imaging Center, University of Groningen, University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands; 3 Department of Biomedical Photonic Imaging, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands; 4 Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, University Hospitals, Leuven, Belgium


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Sarcoidosis is a multisystem chronic inflammatory disease of unknown etiology characterized by widespread growth of non-caseating granulomas. The diagnosis of sarcoidosis is based on clinical and imaging presentation, histologic confirmation and the absence of alternative diseases. Radiology and Nuclear Medicine play an essential role in the diagnostic work-up of patients with sarcoidosis to assess disease extent and activity. In addition, imaging modalities have shown their potential in managing these patients in terms of treatment response and prognostic assessment. Sarcoidosis has a predilection for chest involvement, showing typical and atypical manifestations in the lungs, airways and hilar/mediastinal lymph nodes. Chest radiography (X-ray) still plays an important role in suggesting diagnosis for cases with typical presentation of sarcoidosis, while computed tomography (CT) has higher accuracy in detecting early stage disease and in narrowing differential diagnosis, particularly in atypical manifestations. For extrathoracic involvement, both CT and MR (magnetic resonance) have comparable performance even though MR is the modality of choice for assessing neurosarcoidosis and cardiac sarcoidosis. In the last decades positron emission tomography/CT (PET/CT) has demonstrated an increasing and relevant value in assessing disease extent and activity, treatment planning and therapy response, with a crucial role in the management of cardiac sarcoidosis. In this article, an overview of the possible imaging manifestations of thoracic and extrathoracic sarcoidosis and current concepts on staging, response assessment and prognosis is provided. Finally, the potential applications of non-FDG radiotracers is briefly discussed.


KEY WORDS: Sarcoidosis - Diagnosis - Nuclear medicine - Position-emission tomography - Radiography

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Publication History

Issue published online: January 25, 2018
Article first published online: November 30, 2017
Manuscript accepted: November 29, 2017
Manuscript received: November 9, 2017

Cite this article as

Larici AR, Glaudemans AW, del Ciello A, Slart RH, Calandriello L, Gheysens O. Radiological and nuclear medicine imaging of sarcoidosis. Q J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2018;62:14-33. DOI: 10.23736/S1824-4785.17.03046-1

Corresponding author e-mail

lucio.calandriello@policlinicogemelli.it