Organ-specific accuracy of [18F]FDG-PET/CT in identifying immune-related adverse events in patients with high-risk melanoma treated with adjuvant immune checkpoint inhibitor

Birte Molvik Gideonse, Magnus Birkeland, Mie Holm Vilstrup, Peter Grupe, Mohammad Naghavi-Behzad*, Christina H. Ruhlmann, Oke Gerke, Malene Grubbe Hildebrandt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study aimed to determine the organ-specific accuracy of [18F]FDG-PET/CT in identifying immune-related adverse events (irAEs) in patients with high-risk (stage III/IV) surgically resected melanoma treated with an adjuvant immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) and determine the incidence of irAEs within the first year after starting treatment. Materials and methods: This registry-based study included individuals who had undergone surgical removal of melanoma and were undergoing adjuvant ICI treatment (either nivolumab or pembrolizumab). The study specifically enrolled patients who had undergone both a baseline and at least one subsequent follow-up [18F]FDG-PET/CT scan. Follow-up scans were performed every third month in the first year after surgery to screen for disease recurrence. We retrospectively compared the follow-up scans with baseline scans to identify irAEs. Clinical information on irAEs was obtained from medical records and served as a reference standard for determining the accuracy of [18F]FDG-PET/CT. Results: A total of 123 patients with 363 [18F]FDG-PET/CT scans were included, and 65 patients (52.8%) developed irAEs. In decreasing order, the organ-specific incidences of irAEs were: skin 26/65 (40%), muscle and joints 21/65 (32.3%), intestines 13/65 (20%), thyroid gland 12/65 (18.5%), lungs 4/65 (6.2%), and heart 2/65 (3.1%). The sensitivities and specificities of [18F]FDG-PET/CT for diagnosing irAEs were: skin 19% (95% CI: 7–39%) and 95% (88–98%), muscles and joints 71% (48–89%) and 83% (75–90%), intestines 100% (75–100%) and 85% (77–91%); thyroid gland 92% (62–99%) and 95% (89–98%), lungs 75% (19–99%) and 90% (83–95%), and heart 50% (13–99%) and 97% (92–99%), respectively. Conclusion: [18F]FDG-PET/CT generally had moderate to high sensitivities (except for skin and heart) and specificities in diagnosing irAEs in patients receiving adjuvant ICI; this could be suggested to be systematically assessed and reported in scan reports.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJapanese Journal of Radiology
ISSN1867-1071
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20. Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

Keywords

  • Immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • Immune-related adverse events
  • irAEs
  • Melanoma
  • [F]FDG-PET/CT

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