Comparison between conventional imaging (abdominal-pelvic computed tomography and bone scan) and [(18)F]choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography imaging for the initial staging of patients with intermediate- tohigh-risk prostate cancer: A retrospective analysis

Laura Evangelista, Marino Cimitan, Fabio Zattoni, Andrea Guttilla, Filiberto Zattoni, Giorgio Saladini
Scandinavian Journal of Urology 2015, 49 (5): 345-53

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of [(18)F]fluorocholine positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FCH PET/CT) in detecting lymph-node and bone involvement in comparison with conventional imaging, such as abdominal-pelvic CT and bone scan, in the initial staging of prostate cancer (PCa).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study retrospectively evaluated 48 patients who had FCH PET/CT for the initial staging of PCa. At the same time, 32 of the 48 patients had a bone scan and 26 of the 48 patients had abdominal-pelvic diagnostic CT. Diagnostic performance of FCH PET/CT, i.e. sensitivity, specificity and accuracy, was evaluated on a per-patient basis for the whole population and then separately on a per-risk classification, and later in comparison with conventional imaging. Histological specimens or follow-up data were used as the standard of reference.

RESULTS: The overall accuracy of FCH PET/CT for lymph-node involvement was 83.3%. The sensitivity of FCH was higher in the high-risk subset (83.3%) than in the intermediate-risk group (33.3%), whereas FCH specificity was similar. In comparison with dedicated CT scan, FCH PET/CT showed a higher sensitivity and a similar specificity (46.2% vs 69.2% and 92.3% vs 92.3%, respectively). Moreover, the sensitivity and specificity of PET/CT were higher than those of bone scan (100% vs 90% and 86.4% vs 77.2%, respectively). In contrast with conventional imaging, PET/CT changed the staging of the PCa in 33.3% patients.

CONCLUSIONS: The efficiency of FCH PET/CT in detecting both bone and lymph-node involvement of PCa at initial staging was found to be higher than that of conventional imaging. Prospective clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings.

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