Roles of computed tomography and [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography in the characterization of multiple solitary solid lung nodules

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Travaini, L. ; Trifirò, G. ; Vigna, P. ; Veronesi, G. ; De Pas, T. ; Spaggiari, L. ; Paganelli, G. ; Bellomi, M. (2012)
  • Publisher: Cancer Intelligence
  • Journal: ecancermedicalscience, volume 6 (eissn: 1754-6605)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3332/ecancer.2012.266, pmc: PMC3430489
  • Subject: Research Article | Settore MED/36 - Diagnostica per Immagini e Radioterapia | Settore MED/21 - Chirurgia Toracica

The purpose of this study is to compare the performance of multidetector computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography/CT (PET/CT) with [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose in the diagnosis of multiple solitary lung nodules in 14 consecutive patients with suspicious lung cancer. CT and PET/CT findings were reviewed by a radiologist and nuclear medicine physician, respectively, blinded to the pathological diagnoses of lung cancer, considering nodule size, shape, and location (CT) and maximum standardized uptake value normalized to body weight (SUVbw max). Nodules were judged malignant or benign. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the two techniques were compared. CT had a sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 93.7, 86.7, and 90.3%, respectively, whereas PET/CT had a sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 75, 100, and 87.1%, respectively. Clinical management would have been erroneous in two patients by CT alone and in four patients by PET/CT alone. In one patient, the two techniques misdiagnosed the nodules (2 CT and 1 PET/CT). CT and PET/CT have complimentary roles in characterization of multiple solitary pulmonary nodules. Small nodules are poorly characterized by CT, and small-sized low-SUV malignant nodules are difficult to detect with PET/CT.
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