Research Papers:

Potential clinical value of PET/CT in predicting occult nodal metastasis in T1-T2N0M0 lung cancer patients staged by PET/CT

Xiang Zhou, Ruohua Chen, Gang Huang and Jianjun Liu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:82437-82445. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19535

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Xiang Zhou1,*, Ruohua Chen1,*, Gang Huang1 and Jianjun Liu1

1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jianjun Liu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: 18F-FDG-PET, lung cancer, nodal metastasis, SUVmax

Received: October 07, 2016     Accepted: March 16, 2017     Published: July 25, 2017


We assessed the clinical value of 2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET/CT imaging for predicting occult nodal metastasis in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. This retrospective study included 54 patients with T1-2N0M0 NSCLC who had undergone 18F-FDG PET/CT before surgery. Occult nodal metastasis was detected in 25.9% (14/54) of the patients. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that increased glucose transporter 1 expression was associated with occult nodal metastasis, but hexokinase 2 expression was not. Compared to the negative nodal metastasis group, the positive nodal metastasis group was associated with increased maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) and tumor size. Multivariate analysis indicated that SUVmax and tumor size were associated with nodal metastasis. Nodal metastasis could be predicted with a sensitivity of 92.9% and a specificity of 55.0% when the SUVmax cutoff was 4.35. When patients were divided into low-risk (tumor size ≤ 2.5 cm and SUVmax ≤ 4.35), moderate-risk (tumor size ≤ 2.5 cm and SUVmax > 4.35 or tumor size > 2.5 cm and SUVmax ≤ 4.35) and high-risk (tumor size > 2.5 cm and SUVmax > 4.35) groups, the lymph node metastasis rates were 4.3%, 22.7%, and 88.9%, respectively. These results indicate that the combination of SUVmax and tumor size has potential clinical value for predicting occult nodal metastasis in NSCLC patients.

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