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J Clin Oncol. 2001 Sep 1;19(17):3745-9.

Lymph node staging by positron emission tomography in patients with carcinoma of the cervix.

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  • 1Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology and the Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA.



The aim of this study was to compare the results of computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) with [18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) for lymph node staging in patients with carcinoma of the cervix and to evaluate the relationship of the imaging findings to prognosis.


We retrospectively compared the results of CT lymph node staging and whole-body FDG-PET in 101 consecutive patients with carcinoma of the cervix. Patients were treated with standard irradiation and chemotherapy (as clinically indicated) and observed at 3-month intervals for a median of 15.4 months (range, 2.5 to 30 months). Progression-free survival was evaluated by the Kaplan-Meier method.


CT demonstrated abnormally enlarged pelvic lymph nodes in 20 (20%) and para-aortic lymph nodes in seven (7%) of the 101 patients. PET demonstrated abnormal FDG uptake in pelvic lymph nodes in 67 (67%), in para-aortic lymph nodes in 21 (21%), and in supraclavicular lymph node in eight (8%). The 2-year progression-free survival, based solely on para-aortic lymph node status, was 64% in CT-negative and PET-negative patients, 18% in CT-negative and PET-positive patients, and 14% in CT-positive and PET-positive patients (P <.0001). A multivariate analysis demonstrated that the most significant prognostic factor for progression-free survival was the presence of positive para-aortic lymph nodes as detected by PET imaging (P =.025).


This study demonstrates that FDG-PET detects abnormal lymph node regions more often than does CT and that the findings on PET are a better predictor of survival than those of CT in patients with carcinoma of the cervix.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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