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J Nucl Med. 2010 Dec;51(12):1833-40. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.110.076778. Epub 2010 Nov 15.

18F-FDG PET/CT for the prediction and detection of local recurrence after radiofrequency ablation of malignant lung lesions.

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Department of Radiology/Nuclear Medicine Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Nucl Med. 2011 Jan;52(1):106.


The utility of (18)F-FDG PET/CT for response assessment in malignant lung tumors treated with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and for the detection and prediction of local recurrence was investigated.


Between December 17, 2003, and April 9, 2008, 68 consecutive patients (mean age, 68 y) with 94 pulmonary lesions, including metastases (n = 38) and primary lung cancers (n = 44), underwent RFA. Because of inadequate imaging follow-up in 12 patients, only 82 lesions were analyzed (CT scans, n = 82; (18)F-FDG PET/CT scans, n = 62). The median follow-up was 25 mo (range, 12-66 mo). A baseline study was defined as (18)F-FDG PET/CT performed no more than 3 mo before RFA. The first postablation scan was defined as PET/CT performed between 1 and 4 mo after RFA; additional follow-up studies were obtained in some cases between 6 and 12 mo after RFA. The unidimensional maximum diameter of the lesion was recorded on a pretherapy diagnostic CT scan or on the CT component of a pretherapy (18)F-FDG PET/CT scan, whichever was obtained most recently, using lung windows. Maximum standardized uptake values (SUVs) were recorded for all lesions imaged by (18)F-FDG PET/CT. (18)F-FDG uptake patterns on post-RFA scans were classified as favorable or unfavorable. Survival and recurrence probabilities were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Uni- and multivariate analyses were also performed.


Before RFA, factors predicting greater local recurrence-free survival included initial lesion size less than 3 cm (P = 0.01) and SUV less than 8 (P = 0.02), although the latter was not an independent predictor in multivariate analysis. Treated metastases recurred less often than treated primary lung cancers (P = 0.03). Important post-RFA factors that related to reduced recurrence-free survival included an unfavorable uptake pattern (P < 0.01), post-RFA SUV (P < 0.01), and an increase in SUV over time after ablation (P = 0.05).


(18)F-FDG PET/CT parameters on both preablation and postablation scans may predict local recurrence in patients treated with RFA for lung metastases and primary lung cancers.

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