Clinical utility of F-18 FDG PET-CT in the initial evaluation of lung cancer

Poul Henning Madsen, Paw Christian Holdgaard, Janne Buck Christensen, Poul Flemming Høilund-Carlsen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftReviewForskningpeer review


PURPOSE: Positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) is a resource-demanding imaging modality with increasing popularity in the workup of patients with suspected or proven lung cancer.

METHODS: To review the clinical usefulness of this imaging modality in the diagnosis, staging, and pre-operative evaluation, we conducted a systematic literature search, review, and quality assessment using the rapid evidence assessment toolkit and the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine methodology. The literature search resulted in 4,208 records including 918 reviews, of which 139 met the predefined criteria and were read in full to identify relevant original articles on F-18 FDG PET-CT (1) in the evaluation of solitary pulmonary nodules (n = 14), (2) in curative-intent treatment trials (n = 9), and (3) in planning of invasive procedures (n = 18).

RESULTS: We found the following important results from the literature review: 1) PET-CT can rule out malignancy in most solitary pulmonary nodules due to high sensitivity (recommendation level A). 2) PET-CT reduces the number of futile treatment trials (recommendation level A). 3) The sensitivity of PET-CT in general is insufficient to rule out mediastinal lymph node metastasis (recommendation level A).

CONCLUSIONS: ᅟ 1) With few exceptions, solitary pulmonary nodules can safely be considered benign if the PET-CT scan is negative. Exceptions consist of small (<1 cm) and non-solid, solitary pulmonary nodules. These abnormalities should be followed up by CT in a structured programme. 2) No curative-intent treatment should be commenced until a PET-CT scan has excluded occult distant metastases. 3) In general, lymph node metastasis in the mediastinum cannot be ruled out on the basis of a negative PET-CT, and confirmative invasive staging should be performed in most patients before mediastinal metastasis is confirmed or ruled out.

TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Udgave nummer11
Sider (fra-til)2084-2097
StatusUdgivet - 11. maj 2016