, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 446-452
Date: 27 Jul 2010

Preliminary study of positron emission tomography/computed tomography and plasma osteopontin levels in patients with asbestos-related pleural disease

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The aim of this study was to compare the results of semiquantitative analysis by18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) with plasma osteopontin levels in the same asbestos-related pleural disease population.

Materials and methods

A total of 17 patients with asbestos-related pleural disease were prospectively recruited. They underwent PET/CT, and plasma osteopontin levels were measured. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) was determined from the most active pleural lesion in each patient.


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) was histologically proven in 6 patients, and 11 patients had proven benign asbestos-related pleural diseases (7 pleural plaques, 4 asbestos pleurisy). Significant differences in SUVmax were found between patients with MPM and those with asbestos pleurisy (P = 0.031) and between patients with MPM and those with pleural plaques (P = 0.012). A significant difference was found in the plasma osteopontin levels between patients with asbestos pleurisy and patients with pleural plaques (Bonferroni correction, P = 0.024). The SUVmax in patients with benign asbestos-related diseases was statistically positively correlated with plasma osteopontin in the same group (Spearman’s r = 0.75, P < 0.05).


PET/CT might be more helpful than plasma osteopontin for distinguishing benign asbestos-related pleural diseases from MPM, and the SUVmax in benign asbestos-related pleural diseases may reflect changes in pleural inflammation.