Silicosis other imaging findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scans are often used to differentiate silicosis from inflammatory lesions and malignant lung lesions, However it may not be able to differentiate active inflammation from neoplasia.

PET scan

  • Fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) scans are often used to differentiate benign from malignant lung lesions. However, FDG-PET is often positive in PMF in the absence of malignancy or infection. Therefore, it might have a limited role in the diagnosis of PMF with possible concurrent granulomatous inflammation or lung cancer. The uptake of PMF lesions on FDG-PET scans was evaluated in a series of nine patients with 14 masses, ranging in size from 1.2 to 6.4 cm in maximum diameter [1]. The maximal standard uptake value (SUV) ranged from 3.1 to 14.6 and mean SUV ranged from 1.4 to 8.5. An SUV exceeding 2.5 is generally considered highly suggestive of malignancy or active inflammation.


  1. Chung SY, Lee JH, Kim TH, Kim SJ, Kim HJ, Ryu YH (2010). "18F-FDG PET imaging of progressive massive fibrosis". Ann Nucl Med. 24 (1): 21–7. doi:10.1007/s12149-009-0322-9. PMID 19937406.

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