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Cancer Radiother. 2005 May;9(3):152-60.

[Impact of computed tomography (CT) and 18F-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) image fusion for conformal radiotherapy in esophageal carcinoma].

[Article in French]

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Service d'oncologie-radiothérapie, hôpital Tenon AP-HP, 4, rue de la Chine, 75020 Paris et CancerEst, université Paris-VI, GHU Est, France.



To study the impact of fused (18)F-fluoro-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG)-hybrid positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) images on conformal radiation therapy (CRT) planning for patients with esophageal carcinoma.


Thirty-four patients with esophageal carcinoma were referred for concomitant radiotherapy and chemotherapy with radical intent. Each patient underwent CT and FDG-hybrid PET for simulation treatment in the same radiation treatment position. PET-images were coregistered using five fiducial markers. Target delineation was initially performed on CT images and the corresponding PET data were subsequently used as an overlay to CT data to define the target volume.


FDG-PET identified previously undetected distant metastatic disease in 2 patients, making them ineligible for curative CRT. The Gross Tumor Volume (GTV) was decreased by CT and FDG image fusion in 12 patients (35%) and was increased in 7 patients (20.5%). The GTV reduction was >or=25% in 4 patients due to reduction of the length of the esophageal tumor. The GTV increase was >or=25% with FDG-PET in 2 patients due to the detection of occult mediastinal lymph node involvement in one patient and an increased length of the esophageal tumor in the other patient. Modifications of the GTV affected the planning treatment volume (PTV) in 18 patients. Modifications of delineation of GTV and displacement of the isocenter of PTV by FDG-PET also affected the percentage of total lung volume receiving more than 20 Gy (VL20) in 25 patients (74%), with a dose reduction in 12 patients and a dose increase in 13 patients.


In our study, CT and FDG-PET image fusion appeared to have an impact on treatment planning and management of patients with esophageal carcinoma related to modifications of GTV. The impact on treatment outcome remains to be demonstrated.

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