Affidea IRMET, Italy, detects Covid-19 in an asymptomatic oncological patient through PET-CT scan

The Affidea IRMET medical team in Turin, Italy, has recently developed a scientific article on a medical case related to Covid-19 diagnostic in an asymptomatic patient using the PET-CT examination in the suspicion of lung cancer recurrence.

The article was accepted in just four days and published without modification by one of the most important scientific journals of lung diseases in the world - the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Paper can be read here.

The 73-year-old patient, who had already undergone a middle lobe resection for lung cancer in April 2016, arrived at Affidea IRMET center in Turin on March 18th, 2020, to perform a PET-CT scan for the detection of a lung nodule, suspected of recurrence, highlighted by a CT examination in February 2020.

Before performing the PET / CT examination, the patient underwent Covid-19 triage, resulting in a negative result - absence of fever, no cough or wheezing, neither shortness of breath. Patient declared no suspected exposure to infected people and he was a non-smoker with no cardiovascular comorbidities. The PET/CT scan revealed the presence of bilateral, diffuse and intense FDG uptake in the lower lobes and less intense uptake in the remaining lobes. (Read more in the full paper here)

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Based on the findings, the nuclear medicine team interpreted the PET/CT images as active expression of inflammatory processes (bilateral COVID-19 pneumonia). After consultation with COVID-19 task-force authorities, the patient has been tested positive, and he was subsequently sent to hospitalization. Three days after performing the PET/CT examination, the patient became symptomatic with the appearance of severe respiratory distress syndrome, indicating a rapid progression of the disease.

In response to the treatment, the patient was later discharged from the hospital with continuation of the quarantine period at his home.

In Italy, this is the first case report in an asymptomatic patient, diagnosed through a PET/CT scan.

All credits go to the Affidea IRMET medical team for their extraordinary work: Dr. Giulia Polverari (Affidea IRMET), Dr. Vincenzo Arena (Affidea IRMET), Dr. Francesco Ceci (Nuclear Medicine Unit, University of Turin), Dr. Ettore Pelosi (Affidea IRMET), Dr. Annarita Ianniello (Affidea IRMET), Dr. Elena Poli (general practitioner in Piemonte, Turin), Dr. Alberto Sandri (Unit of Thoracic Surgery San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital University of Turin) and Dr. Daniele Penna (Affidea IRMET).