Although imaging glucose metabolism with positron emission tomography combined with X-ray CT (FDG-PET/CT) has become a standard diagnostic modality for the discovery and surveillance of malignant tumors and inflammatory processes, its origins extend back to more than a century of notable discoveries in the fields of inorganic and organic chemistry, nuclear physics, mathematics, biochemistry, solute transport physiology, metabolism, and imaging, accomplished by pioneering and driven investigators, of whom at least ten were recipients of the Nobel Prize. These tangled and diverse roots eventually coalesced into the FDG-PET/CT method, that through its many favorable characteristics inherent in the isotope used (18F), the accurate imaging derived from coincidence detection of positron annihilation radiation combined with computed tomography, and the metabolic trapping of 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose (FDG) in tissues, provides safety, sensitivity, and specificity for tumor and inflammation detection. The authors hope that this article will increase the appreciation among its readers of the insight, creativity, persistence, and drive of the many investigators who made this technique possible. This article is followed by a review of the many applications of FDG-PET/CT to the gastrointestinal tract and hepatobiliary system (Mandelkern in Dig Dis Sci 2022).
- 2-Deoxy-2-[F]fluoro-d-glucose (FDG)
- 2-Deoxy-d-glucose (2-DG)
- Computed tomography
- Nuclear medicine
- Positron emission tomography