Role of 18F-FDG-PET imaging in the diagnosis of autoimmune encephalitis

October 6, 2016

The following is from The Lancet Neurology and is a response from Francesc Graus and Josep Dalmau first published in Sept. 2016.

We thank Silvia Morbelli and colleagues for their comments on the role of brain 18fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET imaging in the management of autoimmune encephalitis. We agree about the potential use of 18F-FDG-PET in the diagnosis and evaluation of the response to immunotherapy in autoimmune encephalitis.1 However, two reasons led us to downplay the role of 18F-FDG-PET imaging in our Position Paper.2 First, this technique remains unavailable in many hospitals and rarely can be obtained on an emergency basis. As indicated, the main goal of our Position Paper2 was to increase confidence in the diagnosis of autoimmune encephalitis with conventional neurological evaluation and standard diagnostic tests (eg, MRI, CSF, or EEG) that are available in most hospitals during the first 48 h of the clinical evaluation. This early assessment is necessary to enable initiation of immunotherapy without delay, which is crucial to improve patient outcomes.3

Click here to read the full paper. AEA is grateful to all those who wrote this article and for their dedication to autoimmune encephalitis research and treatment.