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Clinical implications of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography at delayed phase for diagnosis and prognosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Oncology Reports 2012 Februrary
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has a poor prognosis, and conventional imaging modalities do not reflect the prognosis of MPM. In this study, the clinical significance of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography fusion imaging (18F-FDG PET/CT) was evaluated for the differential diagnosis, staging and prognosis in MPM patients. Ninety patients who underwent 18F-FDG PET/CT scanning due to a clinical diagnosis or suspicion of MPM prior to therapy were reviewed. Of 90 patients, 31 were pathologically diagnosed as MPM. Maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) were semi-quantitatively obtained from PET/CT 60 min (early phase) and 120 min (delayed phase) after injection of 18F-FDG, and the clinicopathological correlations with the level of SUVmax obtained from PET/CT were examined. The survival curves of MPM patients were plotted according to the methods of Kaplan-Meier. The prognostic implications of the level of SUVmax were estimated by t-test. PET/CT scan showed intense abnormal FDG uptake (SUVmax>2.0) in the pleural lesions of all 31 MPM patients at delayed phase, while it showed abnormal FDG uptake in 30 (97%) patients at early phase. In all 31 MPM patients, the values of SUVmax at delayed phase were higher than those at the early phase. PET/CT also indicated metastasis in the lymph node in 7 patients (23%) and in the systemic lesions in 8 patients (26%) with MPM. Twenty-three MPM patients with high SUVmax, whose prognosis was apparent, showed significantly poorer prognosis in both early and delayed phase (respectively, p=0.03 and p=0.01, t-test). The results showed that 18F-FDG PET/CT at delayed phase is very useful for the diagnosis of pleural diseases, and SUVmax on PET/CT in the delayed phase is a more reliable prognostic factor than that in the early phase. High uptake of 18F-FDG PET/CT may be a predictive factor of prognosis in MPM patients.

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