Challenging Results on FDG PET/CT in a Patient with Uncontrolled Celiac Disease and small bowel adenocarcinoma

Document Type : Case report


1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, King Hussein Cancer Center, Amman, Jordan

2 School of Medicine, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

3 Department of pathology, King Hussein Cancer Center, Amman, Jordan


Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic immune-mediated enteropathy that is caused by both environmental (gluten) and genetic (human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and non-HLA genes) factors. Patients may be asymptomatic or exhibit atypical symptoms, necessitating a high index of suspicion for proper diagnosis.
The evaluation of CD patients with 18F-FDG PET/CT imaging can be difficult, owing to the fact that this disease is inflammatory in nature. Typical 18F-FDG PET/CT gastrointestinal manifestations of celiac disease include increased multifocal or diffuse bowel uptake, whereas single short segmental uptake is rarely encountered; thus, awareness of this wide range of findings is important to guide physicians through proper management and outcome.
We report a case of small intestine adenocarcinoma and known CD complaining of recent episodes of diarrhea and weight loss that had a suspicious small bowel wall thickening that corresponds to a short segmental hypermetabolic process on FDG PET/CT follow-up scan. The patient was then referred to the gastroenterology department and underwent a colonoscopy, a biopsy was taken that revealed CD and was negative for malignancy. Furthermore, 6 months later the abovementioned segmental FDG activity was completely resolved without any treatment received at the given time.


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