No needle to fear: An approach to needle phobic patients

Document Type : Case report


Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Monash Health, Moorabbin Hospital PET Centre, Bentleigh, Victoria, Australia


   18F-FDG is the most commonly used radioisotope in PET scanning and is administered intravenously. When patients cannot cannulated, there are limited options available for functional tumour assessment. A fifty year old male presented for investigation of a suspected lung carcinoma identified during investigation of pneumonia. The patient had a severe needle phobia, intellectual disabilities and multiple co-morbidities which made cannulation impossible. An alternative administration method was sought, with successful oral administration occurring in both staging and restaging scans. The scans demonstrated resolution of a suspected lung cancer indicating it was an inflammatory/infective process, preventing the need for more invasive investigative approaches. A non-invasive and positive experience allowed for accurate diagnosis and repeat imaging for this patient, enabling follow up imaging to occur. It is reported that oral administration of 18F-FDG may be useful for assessment of suspected cancers for patients where cannulation isn’t possible, when limitations are taken into consideration.


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