Clinical relevance of incidental finding of focal uptakes in the colon during 18F-FDG PET/CT studies in oncology patients without known colorectal carcinoma and evaluation of the impact on management.
ABSTRACT To assess the significance and the impact of focal FDG uptake in the colon in oncology patients without known colorectal carcinoma.
A retrospective study was undertaken on 2,220 (18)F-FDG PET/CT studies carried out consecutively in the Nuclear Medicine Department in our hospital from 2 December 2008 to 31 May 2010. Inclusion criteria were patients with abnormal (18)F-FDG uptake in colorectal area that could not be explained (or not previously known) by their clinical histories. Patients previously diagnosed with colorectal carcinoma were excluded. A total of 86 patients (57 male, average age 63.4, range 46-85) were finally included. Colonoscopy with biopsy was established as a reference test. The impact of these findings on the diagnostic-therapeutic management in these patients was evaluated.
A colonoscopy was performed in 54 of the 86 patients, this examination not having been done up-to-date in the remaining 32 patients. Biopsy was obtained in 43 lesions of the 54 patient in whom a colonoscopy was performed. Colon disease was detected in 49 of these 54 patients, obtaining 54 FDG incidental foci which corresponded to 10 previously unsuspected primary colorectal carcinoma, 3 metastases, 27 adenomatous polyps with different degrees of dysplasia and 14 inflammatory processes. In the remaining 5 patients, the colonoscopy was normal. PET/CT modified the diagnostic and treatment management in most of the patients (49/54, that is 91%).
These results confirm the need to determine the cause of abnormal (18)F-FDG colorectal uptakes in the PET/CT studies by using colonoscopy and biopsy. This approach allows for the detection and early treatment of malignant and premalignant lesions.