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ENHANCEMENT OF SPLENIC GLUCOSE METABOLISM DURING ACUTE MALARIAL INFECTION: CORRELATION OF FINDINGS OF FDG-PET IMAGING WITH PATHOLOGICAL CHANGES IN A PRIMATE MODEL OF SEVERE HUMAN MALARIA

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  • 1 Department of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Dokkyo University School of Medicine, Mibu, Tochigi, Japan; Department of Parasitology, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan; Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan; Nishidai Clinic Diagnostic Imaging Center, Takashimadaira, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Radiology, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan; Gunma University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Maebashi, Japan

In the current study, to elucidate the clinical features of severe malaria, we performed whole-body positron emission tomography (PET) with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) of Plasmodium coatneyi–infected acute-phase Japanese macaques. The infected monkeys clearly exhibited increase in splenic FDG uptake indicating marked enhancement of glucose metabolism. The standardized uptake values (SUVs) of the spleen in the infected monkeys were significantly higher than those in the uninfected monkey. At autopsy, splenomegaly was clearly present in all infected monkeys, and histopathologic findings included hyperplasia of lymphoid follicles in white pulp, a large number of activated macrophage, and congestion of parasitized red blood cells (PRBCs) and malaria pigments in red pulp. We suggest that increase in splenic glucose uptake may thus be closely related to activation of splenic clearance system against blood-stage malarial parasites.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Satoru Kawai, Departments of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Dokkyo University School of Medicine, Mibu, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan, Fax: +81-282-86-6431, E-mail: skawai@dokkyomed.ac.jp.
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