Accuracy of helical computed tomography and [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography for identifying lymph node mediastinal metastases in potentially resectable non-small-cell lung cancer.
ABSTRACT Computed tomography (CT) and [18F] Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) are considered suitable methods for the noninvasive staging of the mediastinum. Our study was intended to estimate the efficacy of contrast-enhanced helical CT (hCT) and FDG-PET, alone and combined, in the diagnosis of lymph node mediastinal metastases.
This study was a prospective and blind comparison of the efficacy of hCT and FDG-PET with two alternative reference standards, mediastinoscopy, and mediastinoscopy plus thoracotomy plus a 6-month follow-up to diagnose lymph node mediastinal metastases in 132 consecutive patients with potentially resectable non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The metastatic disease was assessed histopathologically. Further clinical information was obtained postoperatively after a median follow-up of 42 months.
The prevalence of cN2,3 is 0.28. For hCT the sensitivity and specificity are 0.86 (95% CI, 0.70 to 0.93) and 0.67 (95% CI, 0.56 to 0.75), for PET 0.94 (95% CI, 0.81 to 0.98) and 0.59 (95% CI, 0.49 to 0.68), and for hCT and PET combined in-parallel 0.97 (95% CI, 0.84 to 0.99) and 0.44 (95% CI, 0.34 to 0.53), which translate into a negative predicted probability of 0.98 (95% CI, 0.88 to 1.00). The crude diagnostic odds ratio of PET in the total sample studied is 13.1, in the subgroup hCT+ 11.04 (3.0 to 40 0.1), and in the hCT- 3.5 (0.5 to 21.5). Similar results were obtained for hCT stratified by PET.
hCT and PET perform similarly in the mediastinal staging of NSCLC, both tests are conditionally dependent and provide complementary information, and their diagnostic value mainly resides on the negative results.