Asymptomatic COVID–19 cancer patients incidentally discovered during F18-FDG PET/CT monitoring
Background. The aim of the study was to present the PET/CT imaging features in a small series of asymptomatic patients with known cancer pathologies, infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which were incidentally discovered during their monitoring scan of F18-FDG PET/CT.
Methods. We included in our study a number of five cases (3 female and 2 male) out of 478 patients examined by F18-FDG PET/CT between March – April 2020, with confirmed diagnostic of cancer. Four patients had lung damages suggestive for the mentioned viral infection and 1 patient had multiple lung metastases from thyroid cancer. All patients were asymptomatic for acute respiratory disease at the time of examination, being subsequently confirmed for the viral infection by specific PCR analysis.
Results. The asymptomatic positive SARS-CoV-2 cancer patients discovered incidentally in PET/CT F18-FDG represent 0.83% and their imaging characteristics were suggestive for high FDG activity in the lung despite the lack of respiratory symptoms.
Conclusion. The SARS CoV-2 viral infection in asymptomatic cancer patients is a very rare possibility, but represents a challenging scenario both for the differential diagnosis in cancer and also for the epidemiologic context.