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J Nucl Med. 1995 Feb;36(2):229-35.

Value of fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose and thallium-201 in the detection of pancreatic cancer.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Japan.


This study compares the diagnostic value of 18F-FDG PET imaging and 201TI-SPECT imaging in patients with pancreatic cancer.


Twenty-five patients with histologically-proven pancreatic cancer were studied. Following PET transmission scanning, 3 mCi of 201TI were administered after patients had fasted overnight. Thallium-201-SPECT images were obtained 15 min later. Immediately after 201TI-SPECT imaging, 4 mCi of FDG were administered and PET images were obtained 60 min later. The PET and SPECT images were compared qualitatively and quantitatively. For quantitative analysis, 10 x 10 mm2 regions of interest (ROIs) were selected in areas of the tumor showing the highest tracer accumulation and in the normal pancreas. The tumor to nontumor activity ratio (T/N ratio) was calculated.


Although both techniques delineated focal lesions with an increase in tracer accumulation in 16 patients, PET identified eight additional patients in whom 201TI-SPECT images did not visualize any lesion. Thus, FDG-PET provided significantly higher sensitivity (96%) than 201TI-SPECT (64%). Among the patients showing increased tracer accumulation, the T/N ratio was significantly higher with FDG-PET (3.24 +/- 1.27) than with 201TI-SPECT (1.77 +/- 0.37) (p < 0.0001).


We conclude that FDG-PET has a larger clinical value for noninvasive detection of pancreatic cancer than 201TI-SPECT. If a PET camera is available, FDG-PET is considered to be the method of choice for the evaluation of patients with suspected pancreatic cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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