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Acta Radiol. 2012 Jun 1;53(5):518-23. doi: 10.1258/ar.2012.110420. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Diagnostic accuracy of dual-time-point 18F-FDG PET/CT for the detection of axillary lymph node metastases in breast cancer patients.

Author information

1
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Neuroradiology, University Hospital Essen, University at Duisburg-Essen, Germany. steffen.hahn@uk-essen.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The diagnostic accuracy of FDG-PET/CT for the detection of axillary lymph node metastases in breast cancer patients acquired 60 min after FDG administration is reported to be only moderate, especially due to low sensitivity.

PURPOSE:

To test whether a delayed scan 90 min after FDG administration could enhance the diagnostic accuracy of FDG-PET/CT for the detection of axillary lymph node metastases.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Thirty-eight women suffering from primary breast cancer (mean age 52 years; range 25-78 years; standard deviation 14 years) underwent a pre-therapeutic dual-time-point FDG-PET/CT scan. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of axillary lymph nodes was measured at two different time points (time point T1: 60 min after FDG injection, time point T2: 90 min after FDG injection). SUVmax of axillary lymph nodes at T1 and T2 were assessed for statistical significance using a paired Wilcoxon-Test (P < 0.05). At T1 a qualitative analysis of the FDG-PET/CT scan was performed to define physiologic and metastatic lymph nodes. At T2 an increase of the SUVmax of at least 3.75% over time was rated as indicating malignancy. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and the accuracy of FDG-PET/CT for the detection of axillary lymph node metastases was calculated at time points T1 and T2. Statistically significant differences were determined using Fisher's exact test (P < 0.05). Histopathology served as the standard of reference. A compartment based analysis was done.

RESULTS:

Axillary lymph nodes had a mean SUVmax of 1.6 (range 0.6-10.8; SD 1.9) at T1 and a mean SUVmax of 1.8 (range 0.5-17.9; SD 3.5) at T2. This difference was statistically significant (P = 0.047). The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and accuracy of FDG-PET/CT for the detection of axillary lymph node metastases was 81%, 100%, 100%, 88%, and 92% at T1, and 88%, 50%, 56%, 85%, and 66% at T2, respectively. This difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.27).

CONCLUSION:

There is a slight increase of the FDG accumulation of axillary lymph nodes between 60 and 90 min after FDG administration. This increase did not translate into a statistical significant enhancement of the diagnostic accuracy of FDG-PET/CT for the detection of axillary lymph nodes. Especially due to false-positive results a delayed FDG-PET/CT scan 90 min after FDG administration is not able to enhance the diagnostic accuracy for the detection of lymph node metastases.

PMID:
22547387
DOI:
10.1258/ar.2012.110420
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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