What is FDG?

FDG (fludeoxyglucose F-18) is an intravenously administered radiopharmaceutical (radioactive drug) used to help diagnose certain medical problems. FDG contains radioactive fluorine-18 but the amount of radiation is too small and the half-life too short (about 109 minutes) to threaten health. FDG is used in the type of three-dimensional medical imaging technology called a PET (positron emission tomography) scan. Scans of the brain are useful to assess conditions, such as dementia, stroke, traumatic brain injury and mood disorders. Scans of the heart are used for left ventricle problems and coronary artery disease diagnosis. Whole body scans are used to diagnose, stage and monitor cancer. FDG is no longer marketed in Canada, but remains available in the US.

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