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Rofo. 2005 Sep;177(9):1235-41.

[Combined FDG PET/CT imaging for restaging of colorectal cancer patients: impact of image fusion on staging accuracy].

[Article in German]

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Radiologische Universitätsklinik Bonn, Bonn.



To evaluate the diagnostic impact of positron emission tomography (PET) with fluorine-18-labeled deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) combined with non-contrast computed tomography (CT) as PET-CT modality in restaging colorectal cancer patients.


In this retrospective study, 29 consecutive patients with histologically proven colorectal cancer (17 female, 12 male, aged 51-76 years) underwent whole body scans in one session on a dual modality PET-CT system (Siemens Biograph) 90 min. after i.v. administration of 370 MBq 18F-FDG. The CT imaging was performed with 40 mAs, 130 kV, slice-thickness 5 mm and without i.v. contrast administration. PET and CT images were reconstructed with a slice-thickness of 5 mm in coronal, sagittal and transverse planes. During a first step of analysis, PET and CT images were scored blinded and independently by a group of two nuclear medicine physicians and a group of two radiologists, respectively. For this purpose, a five-point-scale was used. The second step of data-analysis consisted of a consensus reading by both groups. During the consensus reading, first a virtual (meaning mental) fusion of PET and CT images and afterwards the "real" fusion (meaning coregistered) PET-CT images were also scored with the same scale. The imaging results were compared with histopathology findings and the course of disease during further follow-up.


The total number of malignant lesions detected with the combined PET/CT were 86. For FDG-PET alone it was n = 68, and for CT alone n = 65. Comparing PET-CT and PET, concordance was found in 81 of 104 lesions. Discrepancies predominantly occurred in the lung, where PET alone often showed true positive results in lymph nodes and soft tissue masses, where CT often was false negative. Comparing mental fusion and "real" co-registered images, concordance was found in 94 of 104 lesions. In 13 lesions or, respectively, in 7 of 29 patients, a relevant information was gathered using fused images.


Combined PET/CT leads to greater accuracy in the interpretation of data and is a valuable tool for diagnosis and anatomic localization of metastases in colorectal cancer patients.

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