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J Bras Pneumol. 2015 May-Jun;41(3):264-74. doi: 10.1590/S1806-37132015000004479.

PET/CT imaging in lung cancer: indications and findings.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

Author information

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Radiology Department, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
São Lucas Hospital, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
University of Caxias do Sul, Caxias do Sul, Brazil.


The use of PET/CT imaging in the work-up and management of patients with lung cancer has greatly increased in recent decades. The ability to combine functional and anatomical information has equipped PET/CT to look into various aspects of lung cancer, allowing more precise disease staging and providing useful data during the characterization of indeterminate pulmonary nodules. In addition, the accuracy of PET/CT has been shown to be greater than is that of conventional modalities in some scenarios, making PET/CT a valuable noninvasive method for the investigation of lung cancer. However, the interpretation of PET/CT findings presents numerous pitfalls and potential confounders. Therefore, it is imperative for pulmonologists and radiologists to familiarize themselves with the most relevant indications for and limitations of PET/CT, seeking to protect their patients from unnecessary radiation exposure and inappropriate treatment. This review article aimed to summarize the basic principles, indications, cancer staging considerations, and future applications related to the use of PET/CT in lung cancer.

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