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Preoperative lymph-node staging of invasive urothelial bladder cancer with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed axial tomography and magnetic resonance imaging: correlation with histopathology.

OBJECTIVE: The treatment and prognosis of bladder cancer are based on the depth of primary tumour invasion and the presence of metastases. A highly accurate preoperative tumour, node, metastasis (TNM) staging is critical to proper patient management and treatment. This study retrospectively investigated the value of ¹⁸F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed axial tomography (¹⁸F-FDG PET/CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for preoperative N staging of bladder cancer. Material and methods. From June 2006 to January 2008, 48 consecutive patients diagnosed with bladder cancer were referred to preoperative staging including MRI and ¹⁸F-FDG PET/CT. Eighteen out of 48 patients underwent radical cystoprostatectomy including removal of lymph nodes for histology, and were included in the study. Values of ¹⁸F-FDG PET/CT and MRI for regional N staging were compared to histopathology findings, the gold standard. Results. ¹⁸F-FDG PET/CT and MRI were performed in 18 patients. The specificities for detection of lymph-node metastases for MRI and ¹⁸F-FDG PET/CT were 80% (n = 15) and 93.33% (n = 15), respectively. The negative predictive values were 80% (n = 15) and 87.5% (n = 16) for MRI and ¹⁸F-FDG PET/CT, respectively. The differences in specificity and negative predictive values were not statistically significant. Conclusions. No significant statistical difference between ¹⁸F-FDG PET/CT and MRI for preoperative N staging of urothelial bladder cancer was found in the study. However, the trend of the data indicates an advantage of ¹⁸F-FDG PET/CT over MRI. Larger prospective studies are needed to elucidate the role of ¹⁸F-FDG PET/CT in N staging of bladder cancer.

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