Can (18)F-FDG-PET/CT be generally recommended in patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma and elevated thyroglobulin levels but negative I-131 whole body scan?
ABSTRACT Exact localization of recurrent iodine-negative thyroid cancer is mandatory, since surgery is the only curative therapy option in patients with iodine-negative tumor tissue. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of (18)F-FDG-PET/CT as a routine diagnostic tool on clinical management in patients with suspected thyroid cancer recurrence and elevated serum thyroglobulin (Tg) but negative radioiodine whole body scan.
After total thyroidectomy followed by radioiodine ablation, 30 consecutive patients with differentiated thyroid cancer, elevated serum thyroglobulin levels and negative whole body radioiodine scan underwent (18)F-FDG-PET/CT. Results were verified by histology, ultrasound, or clinical follow-up. Diagnostic accuracy was determined for the whole study population and for subgroups with serum thyroglobulin below and above 10 ng/ml, respectively. Impact of PET/CT on clinical management was assessed.
PET/CT identified FDG accumulating lesions in 19 of 30 patients. 17 were true-positive and 2 false-positive. In the true-positive group, 11 of the 17 patients had loco-regional disease, 3 had distant metastases only and 3 patients had both loco-regional and distant metastatic involvement. (18)F-FDG-PET/CT was true-negative in 3 patients and false-negative in 8 patients. Overall sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were 68.0, 60.0, and 66.7%, respectively. In the subgroup of patients with serum thyroglobulin above 10 ng/ml (n = 21) the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were substantially higher with 70.0, 100.0, and 71.4%, respectively. Clinical management was changed for 17 (57%) of 30 patients, guiding to a curative surgical intervention in 9 patients (30%).
(18)F-FDG-PET/CT enables detection and precise localization of loco-regional recurrence and distant metastases of differentiated thyroid cancer in patients with elevated serum thyroglobulin but negative radioiodine with significant impact on patient management and can therefore be recommended as a routine diagnostic tool.
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ABSTRACT: Whole-body fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging was performed during the follow-up of 33 patients suffering from differentiated thyroid cancer. Among them there were 26 patients with papillary and seven with follicular tumours. Primary tumour stage (pT) was pT1 in six cases, pT2 in eight cases, pT3 in three cases and pT4 in 14 cases. FDG PET was normal in 18 patients. In three patients a slightly increased metabolism was observed in the thyroid bed, assumed to be related to remnant tissue. In one case local recurrence, in ten cases lymph node metastases (one false-positive, caused by sarcoidosis) and in three cases distant metastases were found with FDG PET. In comparison with whole-body scintigraphy using iodine-131 (WBS) there were a lot of discrepancies in imaging results. Whereas three patients had distant metastases (proven with 131I) and a negative FDG PET, in four cases 131I-negative lymph node metastases were detectable with PET. Even in the patients with concordant "staging", differences between 131I and FDG were observed as to the exact lesion localization. Therefore, a coexistence of 131I-positive/FDG-negative, 131I-negative/FDG-positive and 131I-positive/FDG-positive malignant tissue can be assumed in these patients. A higher correlation of FDG PET was observed with hexakis (2-methoxyisobutylisonitrile) technetium-99m (I) (MIBI) scintigraphy (performed in 20 cases) than with WBS. In highly differentiated tumours 131I scintigraphy had a high sensitivity, whereas in poorly differentiated carcinomas FDG PET was superior. The clinical use of FDG PET can be recommended in all cases of suspected or proven recurrence and/or metastases of differentiated thyroid cancer and is particularly useful in cases with elevated serum thyroglobulin levels and negative WBS.European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 04/1996; 23(3):312-9.
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ABSTRACT: The aim was to evaluate the incremental diagnostic rate of F-18 fluoro-fluorodeoxygulose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (F-18 FDG-PET/CT) in patients with negative I-131 whole body scans and high Tg levels. The secondary end points were correlations between F-18 FDG-PET/CT positive results and Tg levels and comparison between F-18 FDG-PET/CT accuracy in patients "on-therapy" with suppressed thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and those with high TSH levels. We studied 52 patients who had undergone total thyroidectomy and remnant ablation; they had high Tg levels (average = 156 ng/mL; SD +/- 274) after 3 weeks of levothyroxine withdrawal and negative I-131 total body scans after therapeutic doses. We noted a statistically significant positive correlation between F-18 FDG-PET/CT positive results and Tg levels, irrespective of levothyroxine therapy regimen. Tg levels between F-18 FDG-PET/CT positive/negative groups were significantly different and we did not note any statistically significant correlation between F-18 FDG-PET/CT results and TSH levels, tumor size, and combination of Tg/TSH levels. Our results indicate that F-18 FDG-PET/CT is a useful diagnostic tool in patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma and with negative I-131 total body scans and high Tg levels. The levothyroxine therapy regimen does not influence F-18 FDG-PET/CT results and the rate of F-18 FDG-PET/CT positive results appears to correlate with the Tg levels. The highest accuracy is reached when the study is performed for patients with Tg levels higher than 21 ng/mL.Clinical nuclear medicine 11/2009; 34(11):756-61. · 3.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The usefulness of combined 2-[18F] fluoro-2-deoxy-D: -glucose positron emission tomography and computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) in locating suspected recurrence in patients with iodine-negative differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) was evaluated. Thirty-six patients with DTC and suspected iodine-negative recurrence underwent restaging with FDG-PET/CT. The images of CT, FDG-PET, both modalities viewed side by side (CT+PET), and FDG-PET/CT were evaluated by two physicians separately. Imaging results were correlated with either histology (n = 20) and/or clinical follow-up of at least 36 months. Recurrent disease was diagnosed in 22/36 patients. FDG-PET alone, CT alone, CT+PET, and FDG-PET/CT showed a sensitivity of 82%, 73%, 91%, and 96%, respectively. Specificities were 79%, 71%, 79%, and 100%, respectively. FDG-PET/CT significantly improved specificity compared with CT+PET and resulted in a further treatment modification in 5/36 patients (14%). CT alone was especially sensitive for lung metastases, FDG-PET alone for the remainder of the body. Accurate fusion of functional and morphologic data by FDG-PET/CT improves the staging accuracy of patients with suspected recurrence of iodine-negative DTC. This has an impact on patient management in a substantial number of patients.European Radiology 01/2008; 17(12):3139-47. · 3.55 Impact Factor