Positron emission tomography in recurrent hepatoblastoma
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- Philip, I., Shun, A., McCowage, G. et al. Ped Surgery Int (2005) 21: 341. doi:10.1007/s00383-005-1406-9
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Early detection of recurrent hepatoblastoma is not always possible with conventional imaging methods such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This article describes three cases of recurrent hepatoblastoma in which positron emission tomography (PET) using F18-fluoro-deoxy-glucose (FDG-PET) was used to locate the site of recurrence. In the first two patients, FDG-PET accurately located recurrent disease where it was not detected by conventional imaging modalities, including CT and MRI. In the third patient, FDG-PET imaging also located the recurrent disease in an MRI-identified adrenal metastasis. The technique of “coregistration” using PET with CT and MRI scans was used in the cases described. This improves the anatomical localization of metabolically active sites and was particularly useful for determining the surgical approach. The difficulties of conventional imaging in locating early tumor recurrence or metastatic disease in hepatoblastoma make FDG-PET imaging an important investigation that may impact patient management.