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Clin Nephrol. 2002 Jan;57(1):56-62.

The usefulness of F-18 deoxyglucose whole-body positron emission tomography (PET) for re-staging of renal cell cancer.

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  • 1Ahmanson Biological Imaging Clinic/Nuclear Medicine, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6948, USA.



The use of whole-body PET for re-staging of renal cell carcinoma has not been investigated. The aim of the current study was to examine the diagnostic accuracy and clinical usefulness of whole-body PET imaging for re-staging of renal cell cancer.


Clinical PET was performed for re-staging in 36 patients with advanced renal cell cancer. Written reports of imaging studies (including CT, MRI, US, plain film and bone scan), patient history, and extensive chart notes were used to define the clinical stage before PET (pre-PET stage). The written PET report was used to define the clinical stage after PET (PET stage). Reports were used to determine the accuracy of PET for re-staging renal cell cancer and for defining biopsy proven lesions. Clinical parameters and biopsy proven lesions served as reference for the accuracy of PET for re-staging renal cell cancer.


PET classified the clinical stage correctly in 32/36 patients (89%) and was incorrect in 4/36 (11%) (sensitivity and specificity: 87% and 100%). In 20 patients, 25 suspicious lesions were biopsied within 3.2 +/- 6.7 months of the PET study. Of these, 17 were malignant and 8 were benign. PET correctly classified 21/25 (84%) of the biopsied lesions (sensitivity and specificity: 88% and 75%).


PET re-stages renal cell cancer with a diagnostic accuracy of 89%. Its diagnostic accuracy for classifying biopsy proven anatomic lesions as malignant or benign was 84%. These findings suggest that PET is useful in characterizing anatomic lesions of unknown significance in patients with renal cell cancer.

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