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Invest Radiol. 2008 Oct;43(10):737-44. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0b013e3181817b3d.

Computed tomography, positron emission tomography, positron emission tomography/computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging for staging of limited pleural mesothelioma: initial results.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.



To evaluate and compare the role of computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), PET/CT, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the correct staging of patients with limited malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).


Fifty-four patients with an epithelial MPM (34 men and 20 women) were included in this study. Patients were referred to our department for staging in a predicted resectable state (stage II/III). Within 3 days, PET/CT and MRI was performed in all patients. Images were evaluated by 3 specialists in the field of PET/CT and MRI. The subexaminations of PET/CT, PET, and CT were independently evaluated with respect to tumor stage. Subexaminations were compared with each other, with MRI and PET/CT. N-stage was verified by mediastinoscopy. Afterward, consensus reading was performed.In 52 patients, surgery served as gold standard. In 2 patients, follow-up control served as gold standard as an inoperable situation with distant metastases was found. Additionally, interobserver variability (kappa value) was calculated.


In stage II, accuracy was 0.77 (CT), 0.86 (PET), 0.8 (MRI), 1.0 (PET/CT), and in stage III 0.75, 0.83, 0.9, 1.0. PET/CT was significantly more accurate (P < 0.05) in stages II and III compared with all other techniques. CT and MRI were not able to detect distant metastases in 2 patients, which changed therapy (operable vs. inoperable). Interobserver variability was 0.7, 0.9, 0.8, 1.0 in stage II and 0.9, 0.9, 0.9, 1.0 in stage III.


PET/CT makes it possible to stage patients with limited MPM with high accuracy and low interobserver variability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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