Diagnostic Performance of Fluorine-18-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography in Patients with Merkel Cell Carcinoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
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- Treglia, G., Dabbagh Kakhki, V.R., Giovanella, L. et al. Am J Clin Dermatol (2013) 14: 437. doi:10.1007/s40257-013-0040-x
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Some studies reported the usefulness of fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) and PET/computed tomography (CT) in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).
The aim of this study was to systematically review and meta-analyze published data about the diagnostic performance of 18F-FDG PET and PET/CT in patients with MCC.
A comprehensive literature search of studies published through June 2013 regarding 18F-FDG PET and PET/CT in patients with MCC was performed. All retrieved studies were reviewed and qualitatively analyzed. Pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative likelihood ratio (LR+ and LR−) and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) of 18F-FDG PET or PET/CT in patients with MCC on a per examination-based analysis were calculated. The area under the summary receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was calculated to measure the accuracy of 18F-FDG PET or PET/CT in these patients.
Ten studies comprising 329 patients (549 scans) with MCC were included in the qualitative analysis (systematic review) and discussed. The quantitative analysis (meta-analysis) of six selected studies (including 92 patients with MCC) provided the following results on a per examination-based analysis: sensitivity was 90 % (95 % CI 80–96), specificity 98 % (95 % CI 90–100), LR+ 12 (95 % CI 4.3–33.0), LR− 0.15 (95 % CI 0.08–0.28), and DOR 86.8 (95 % CI 23–327). The area under the summary ROC curve was 0.96. No significant statistical heterogeneity between the studies was found.
In patients with MCC, 18F-FDG PET or PET/CT demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity, being accurate methods in this setting. Nevertheless, the literature focusing on the use of PET and PET/CT in MCC still remains limited. Prospective studies are needed to substantiate the high diagnostic accuracy of these methods in MCC.