Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 21, 2013

Don’t use PET/CT for cancer screening in healthy individuals.

  • The likelihood of finding cancer in healthy adults is extremely low (around 1%), based on studies using PET/CT for screening.
  • Imaging without clear clinical indication is likely to identify harmless findings that lead to more tests, biopsy or unnecessary surgery.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) appointed a Steering Committee, led by the president-elect, to develop the “Top 5” list. This committee solicited input from five SNMMI clinical specialty councils (cardiovascular, brain, nuclear oncology, general nuclear medicine, pediatric) and our PET Center of Excellence. A task force made up of the Steering Committee and specialty council/center leadership convened, and its members also provided recommendations. The Steering Committee reviewed and ranked the submissions and presented the five highest-ranked statements to the SNMMI Board of Directors and House of Delegates.

SNMMI’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be obtained by contacting the organization (


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Minamimoto R, Senda M, Terauchi T, Jinnouchi S, Inoue T, Iinuma T, Inoue T, Ito K, Iwata H, Uno K, Oku S, Oguchi K, Tsukamoto E, Nakashima R, Nishizawa S, Fukuda H, Murano T, Yoshida T. Analysis of various malignant neoplasms detected by FDG-PET cancer screening program: based on a Japanese Nationwide Survey. Ann Nucl Med [Internet]. 2011 Jan [cited 2012 Oct 19];25(1):45-54.