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Rev Esp Med Nucl Imagen Mol. 2012 Jul-Aug;31(4):187-91. doi: 10.1016/j.remn.2011.06.002. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

The role of FDG PET-CT in differential diagnosis of pleural pathologies.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Gaziantep, School of Medicine, Gaziantep, Turkey.



This study has aimed to evaluate the impact of (F18) Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography (FDG PET-CT) in the differential diagnosis of malignant and benign pleural lesions in patients with suspected malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).


Fifty patients (32 females, 18 males; age range 24-79 years) with pleural thickening, fluid, plaques or calcification on previous CT scan were examined with FDG PET-CT. PET-CT imaging was obtained 1 h after FDG injection. In 12 patients, delayed imaging from the thoracic region was performed 2 h after injection. FDG uptake was evaluated visually and semiquantitively using standardized uptake value (SUV). FDG PET-CT findings were compared with histopathologic diagnosis.


Thirty-nine patients had increased FDG uptake in pleural lesions but PET-CT results were negative in 11 patients. When compared with histopathological results in FDG positive group, 34 patients had MPM, 5 had benign pathology; in FDG negative group 8 patients had benign pathology, 3 had MPM. Of patients with delayed imaging, 9 showed increased SUV but 3 had a decreased SUV on delayed images. Increased SUV group had 4 MPM, 5 benign pathology (3 chronic granulomatous inflammation, 2 benign asbestotic plaque). Decreased SUV group all had benign pathology (fibrosis, chronic inflammation, myofibrosis).


FDG PET-CT is a useful imaging modality in differential diagnosis of malignant and benign pleural lesions. Delayed imaging seems to be useful if there is a decrease in SUV suggesting a benign pathology but does not seem to contribute to the differential diagnosis if the SUV is increased.

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