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J Thorac Oncol. 2010 Mar;5(3):385-8. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181cbf465.

Role of integrated 18-fluorodeoxyglucose position emission tomography-computed tomography in patients surveillance after multimodality therapy of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Guys and St Thomas' Hospital, London SE1 9RT, United Kingdom.



To investigate the role of 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography (18-FDG-PET-CT) in the surveillance of patients after multimodality treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.


Retrospective study of patients who had chemotherapy, radical surgery, extrapleural pneumonectomy or pleurectomy/decortication, and radiotherapy for mesothelioma in our unit. PET-CT was performed after multimodality therapy to evaluate response to treatment or when disease recurrence was suspected. 18-FDG-PET scans were acquired from skull base to upper thigh with low-dose CT scans for attenuation correction and image fusion.


Forty-four patients had extrapleural pneumonectomy (21) or pleurectomy/decortication (23) between January 2004 and July 2008. Twenty-five patients had PET-CT performed after multimodality therapy. This was performed in 11 patients in whom disease recurrence was suspected at a median of 9 (range, 6-16) months after treatment. PET-CT correctly diagnosed recurrent disease in eight patients and missed microscopic recurrence in one. Surveillance PET-CT was performed in 14 asymptomatic patients at a median of 11 (range, 7-13) months after treatment. It showed unsuspected recurrences in four patients. The standard uptake value max of recurrent mesothelioma was 8.9 +/- 4.0 (4-18.4). PET-CT had a sensitivity of 94%, a specificity of 100%, and the positive and negative predictive values of 100 and 88%, respectively.


18-FDG-PET-CT is useful in diagnosing disease recurrence after multimodality therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma. We propose a prospective study to fully assess its value in this group of patients.

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