Fluorodeoxyglucose-positron Emission Tomography (FDG-PET) to Test Dogs for Lymphoma

Fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) plays an important role in evaluating and managing lymphoma. The FDG-PET is a more accurate radiography in assessing any residual lymphoma and identifying patients who may require a more intense treatment.

The FDG is a derivative of glucose, and with PET, has two parts to evaluate Lymphoma more accurately by checking the glucose in the cells as well as radioactive components. As the FDG is injected and travels through your pet’s body, the cells that are active will trace any glucose along with the radioactive part of tracer. The FDG allows special cameras to show cells with excessive glucose, such as malignant cells. The FDG PET also evaluates reactive normal cells that have higher metabolic rates.

The FDG PET for Lymphoma is a more accurate testing due to the high metabolic rate of the tumors, taking up high levels of glucose. The PET detects any energy discharged through the FDG. The machine then converts the energy into a 3D image. At the same time as imaging with the FDG PET, for more definitive results, a CT scan is also performed. The whole process of FDG PET for Lymphoma will identify tumors, metastasis and any lymph node involvement.

The FDG PET correctly identifies superficial and internal lymph nodes, liver, and spleen. The FDG PET also correctly identifies any mast cell tumor metastasis to regional lymph nodes in all dogs. Lymphoma can go undetected during a physical examination and/or regional lymph node cytology. The FDG PET works as a whole-body staging method for canine lymphoma and mast cell tumors.

A FDG PET for Lymphoma, sometimes along with a CT scan, will allow the veterinary oncologist to determine the severity of the disease in order to work up a treatment plan. Once your dog is started on Chemotherapy or other special treatment prescribed by your Vet, the FDG PET along with a CT scan allows the Vet to evaluate the effectiveness of the prescribed treatment. Overall, the FDG PET for Lymphoma is the best non-invasive imaging technique to get a full evaluation and possible recurrence in your dog.

If you have decided to get a FDG PET for Lymphoma in your dog, whether you also go with a CT scan as well, or not, your dog will first need to fast the night before the procedure. Blood glucose is then measured just prior to the test to be sure the radioactive glucose can give an accurate imaging. Your dog will then get the FDG injection and left to rest for up to an hour. This rest time gives any of the tumors time to be taken up by the glucose injected. Anesthesia is given to your dog at which time he is then placed on the table for the FDG PET to be performed, followed by a CT scan. Both scans will take approximately 45 minutes at which time your dog will recover from the anesthesia. The FDG PET for Lymphoma provides for an accurate full body imaging and diagnosis, allowing for your veterinarian the proper treatment needed to bring health and comfort to your beloved pet.