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Accuracy of FDG-PET/CT and paraneoplastic antibodies in diagnosing cancer in paraneoplastic neurological syndromes.

OBJECTIVE: There is still no consensus about whether to perform PET/CT to detect carcinoma in paraneoplastic neurological syndromes (PNS) in patients with or without antibodies. The aim of this study is to determine the diagnostic accuracy of PET/CT and antibodies in patients with PNS.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted on patients with clinically suspected PNS between 2008 and 2013. The association between histopathological findings, paraneoplastic antibodies, and PET/CT findings were evaluated. Sensitivity and specificity for the detection of underlying malignancy were calculated for PET/CT and paraneoplastic antibodies.

RESULTS: A total of 42 patients were analyzed. Of these 42 patients, 32 (75%) had a classical PNS, 6 (14%) had positive PET/CT findings, and 34 were tested for the presence of antibodies (anti-Hu Ab, anti-Yo Ab, and anti-Ri Ab). Twenty one of 34 patients had positive antibodies. Of the 6 patients with positive PET/CT findings, 6 had positive histopathological results. Among 21 patients with positive biomarkers, carcinoma was confirmed only in 5 patients. One patient with negative antibodies, but positive PET/CT findings, was diagnosed with a tumor. Gastric carcinoma was detected in 1 patient with negative PET/CT findings and antibodies during follow-up. Based on the results, PET/CT was found to have 85.71% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 100% positive and 97.22% negative predictive values in the detection of tumors.

CONCLUSION: PET/CT has a certain diagnostic accuracy for detecting underlying malignancy in patients with PNS, regardless of the presence of paraneoplastic antibodies.

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