JOURNAL ARTICLE

Prognostic and diagnostic accuracy of [18F]FDG-PET/CT in 190 patients with carcinoma of unknown primary

Pavel Fencl, Otakar Belohlavek, Magdalena Skopalova, Monika Jaruskova, Iva Kantorova, Katerina Simonova
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2007, 34 (11): 1783-92
17541584

PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to determine the accuracy of [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT in the search for the primary and the presence of a malignancy. The prognostic value of FDG-PET/CT information was tested.

METHODS: A total of 190 patients were retrospectively analysed: 82 with histologically proven metastases (HPM) and 108 with clinical suspicion of the presence of a malignancy (CSM). The sensitivity and specificity were determined. Overall survival was calculated to evaluate the prognostic value of the FDG-PET/CT findings.

RESULTS: In the search for the primary, the sensitivity and specificity were 62.0% and 81.9%, respectively. In the search for the presence of a malignancy, the sensitivity and specificity were 93.6% and 85.7%, respectively. Between the HPM and CSM groups, no significant difference in sensitivity and specificity was found either in the search for the primary or in the search for the presence of a malignancy. No significant difference in the sensitivity and specificity was found between 78 patients who were investigated by contrast-enhanced FDG-PET/CT and the remaining patients. A significantly shorter overall survival was found among patients with positive FDG-PET/CT findings compared with patients with negative findings (p = 0.00001); no significant difference in survival was found between the HPM and the CSM group (p = 0.770).

CONCLUSION: FDG-PET/CT imaging is very helpful in the search for the presence of a malignancy in patients with carcinoma of unknown primary syndrome. FDG-PET/CT is less accurate in identifying exactly the site of a primary. Discovery of a hypermetabolic lesion was associated with the worst survival rate.

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