18F-FDG PET/CT in pleural epithelioid hemangioendothelioma

Document Type: Case report

Authors

1 Spedali Civili Brescia

2 Nuclear Medicine, University of Brescia and Spedali Civili Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

3 Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, Anatomic Pathology Section, Spedali Civili Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Abstract

Pleural epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE) is a rare malignancy of vascular-endothelial origin with non-specific symptoms and an unpredictable outcome. Diagnosis of this condition by imaging modalities is challenging, and no standard therapeutic approaches have been established in this regard. In this paper, we described the case of a patient with a low-grade fever, coughing and chest pain who underwent 18F-FDG PET/CT after a positive thorax CT showing multiple bilateral calcified pulmonary nodules and extensive right-sided pleural effusion. Moreover, PET/CT revealed increased tracer uptake on the nodular pleural thickening and one nodule in the upper lobe of the right lung. A diagnostic thoracentesis was performed to obtain the pleural fluid. However, cytology was not diagnostic, and the subsequent thoracotomy with pleural fluid drainage and pleural biopsy was positive for pleural EHE. The study showed also an abundant non-FDG-avid pleural effusion in the collapsed right lung. Despite chest tube insertion and partial drainage of the volume, patient’s condition deteriorated, and patient passed away six months after the PET scan.

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