Value of contrast-enhanced 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography in detection and presurgical assessment of pancreatic cancer: a prospective study.
ABSTRACT Positron Emission Tomography (PET) using (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) associated with computed tomography (CT) is increasingly used for the detection and the staging of pancreatic cancer, but data regarding its clinical added value in pre-surgical planning is still lacking. The aim of this study is to investigate the performance of FDG PET associated with contrast-enhanced CT in detection of pancreatic cancer.
We prospectively evaluated FDG PET/CT studies obtained in patients with suspicion of operable pancreatic cancer between May 2006 and January 2008. Staging was conducted according to a standardized protocol, and findings were confirmed in all patients by surgical resection or biopsy examination.
Forty-five patients with a median age of 69 (range 22-82) were included in this study. Thirty-six had malignant tumors and nine had benign lesions (20%). The sensitivity of enhanced versus unenhanced PET/CT in the detection of pancreatic cancer was 96% versus 72% (P=0.076), the specificity 66.6% versus 33.3% (P=0.52), the positive predictive value 92.3% versus 80% (P=0.3), the negative predictive value 80% versus 25% (P=0.2), and the accuracy 90.3% versus 64% (P=0.085).
Our preliminary data obtained in a limited number of patients shows that contrast-enhanced FDG PET/CT offers good sensitivity in the detection and assessment of pancreatic cancer, but at the price of a relatively low specificity. Enhanced PET/CT seems to be superior to unenhanced PET/CT. Further larger prospective studies are needed to establish its value for pre-surgical diagnosis and staging in pancreatic cancer.