DOI: 10.3390/pathogens12081041 ISSN:

18FDG-PET/CT-Scans and Biomarker Levels Predicting Clinical Outcome in Patients with Alveolar Echinococcosis—A Single-Center Cohort Study with 179 Patients

Lynn Peters, Wanjie Jiang, Nina Eberhardt, Jürgen Benjamin Hagemann, Beate Grüner, Dennis Tappe
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Allergy

Background: Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is a severe larval tapeworm infection with a variable clinical course of the disease. Reliable imaging techniques and biomarkers are needed to predict the course of the disease. Methods: 179 AE patients that received PET/CT scans between 2008 and 2012 were retrospectively included. From stored blood samples taken on the day of the scan, levels of IgE, parasite-specific serology, amyloid A, C-reactive protein, soluble interleukin 2 receptor, cytokeratin fragments, eosinophilic cell count, and eosinophil cationic protein were measured. Additionally, the current clinical outcome (cured, stable, or progressive disease) after a median duration of 8 years after baseline examination was assessed. Ultimately, an ordinal logistic regression was conducted to evaluate which imaging parameters and biomarkers independently influence the clinical outcome. Results: In general, patients in need of medical treatment or with progressive disease, advanced PNM stages, and positive PET/CT scans exhibited higher levels of the respective biomarkers. However, only the parasite-specific serological markers and total IgE levels differed significantly between clinical groups, WHO PNM stages, and the results of the PET/CT scan. In the multivariate analysis, PET/CT results were a strong predictor of the clinical outcome (OR 8.908, 95%CI 3.019–26.285; p < 0.001), and age at baseline was a moderate predictor (OR 1.031, 95%CI 1.003–1.060; p = 0.029). Conclusions: The PET/CT scan is, preferably in combination with parasite-specific serology and IgE levels, a valuable tool in the clinical management of AE and is able to predict the course of the disease.

More from our Archive