The Multicenter Italian Trial Assesses the Performance of FDG-PET /CT Related to Pre-Test Cancer Risk in Patients with Solitary Pulmonary Nodules and Introduces a Segmental Thoracic Diagnostic Strategy

Author(s): Marco Spadafora*, Laura Evangelista, Salvatore Fiordoro, Francesco Porcaro, Marilena Sicignano, Luigi Mansi

Journal Name: Current Radiopharmaceuticals

Volume 13 , Issue 3 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


Purpose: The Italian Tailored Assessment of Lung Indeterminate Accidental Nodule (ITALIAN) trial is a trial drawn to determine the performance of 18F-FDG-PET/CT in patients with solitary pulmonary nodules (SPN), stratified for a different kind of risk. An additional end-point was to compare the diagnostic information and estimated dosimetry, provided by a segmental PET/CT (s-PET/CT) acquisition instead of a whole body PET/CT (wb-PET/CT), in order to evaluate if segmental thoracic PET/CT can be used in patients with SPN.

Methods: 18F-FDG PET/CT of 502 patients, stratified for pre-test cancer risk, was retrospectively analyzed. FDG uptake in SPN was assessed by a 4-point scoring (4PS) system and a semiquantitative analysis using the ratio between SUVmax in SPN and SUVmean in mediastinal blood pool (BP), and between SUVmax in SPN and SUVmean in the liver (L). Histopathology and/or follow-up data were used as a standard of reference. Data obtained on the thoracic part of wb-PET/CT, defined as s - PET/CT, were compared with those deriving from wb-PET/CT.

Results: SPNs were malignant in 180 patients (36%), benign in 175 (35%), and indeterminate in 147 (29%). The 355 patients diagnosed with a definitive SPN nature (malignant or benign) were considered for the analysis of PET performance. Sensitivity, specificity, positive (PPV) and negative (NPV) predictive values, and accuracy were 85.6%, 85.7%, 86%, 85.2%, and 85.6%, respectively. Sensitivity and PPV were higher in intermediate and high-risk patients.

18F-FDG uptake indicative of thoracic and extra-thoracic lesions was detectable in 13% and 3% of the patients. Compared to wb-PET/CT, s-PET/CT could save about 2/3 of 18F-FDG dose, radiation exposure or scan-time, without affecting the clinical impact of PET/CT.

Conclusion: In patients with SPN, the pre-test likelihood of malignancy stratification allows to better define PET clinical setting and its diagnostic power. In subjects with low-intermediate pre-test likelihood of malignancy, s-PET/CT might be planned in advance. The adoption of this segmental strategy could reduce radiation exposure, scan-time, and might allow individually targeted protocols.

Keywords: Lung cancer, single pulmonary nodules, likelihood, FDG, PET/CT.

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Article Details

Year: 2020
Published on: 30 November, 2020
Page: [243 - 248]
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.2174/1874471013666200318142210

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