FDG-PET for preoperative staging of bladder cancer

  • O. Drieskens
  • R. Oyen
  • H. Van Poppel
  • Y. Vankan
  • P. Flamen
  • L. MortelmansEmail author
Original Article



The presence of lymph node involvement (N) and distant metastasis (M) in patients with invasive bladder carcinoma is a major determinant of survival and, therefore, a pivotal element in the therapeutic management. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the use of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) in this indication.


Whole-body FDG-PET and computed tomography (CT) were performed in 55 patients with non-metastatic invasive bladder cancer for preoperative staging. Correlative imaging of PET with CT was performed, leading to a PET(CT) result. The imaging results were compared with the gold standard, consisting of histopathology (lymphadenectomy, guided biopsy) or clinical follow-up for 12 months, and related to overall survival using the Kaplan-Meier method.


The gold standard was available in 40 patients and indicated NM-positive disease in 15 patients (12 N lesions, 8 M lesions), and NM-negative disease in 25 patients. For the diagnosis of NM-positive disease, the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of PET(CT) were 60%, 88% and 78%, respectively. Diagnostic discordances between PET(CT) and CT alone were found in 9/40 patients, among whom PET was correct in six (15%): three with true-positive and one with true-negative distant metastases, and two with true-negative lymph nodes. Median survival time of patients in whom PET(CT) indicated NM-positive disease was 13.5 months, compared with 32.0 months in the patients with a NM-negative PET(CT) (p=0.003).


Addition of metabolism-based information provided by FDG-PET to CT in the preoperative staging of invasive bladder carcinoma yields a high diagnostic and prognostic accuracy.


Positron emission tomography Bladder cancer Staging 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Drieskens
    • 1
  • R. Oyen
    • 2
  • H. Van Poppel
    • 3
  • Y. Vankan
    • 2
  • P. Flamen
    • 1
  • L. Mortelmans
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineUniversity Hospital GasthuisbergLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, University Hospital GasthuisbergUniversiteit Leuven (KUL)LeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Urology, University Hospital GasthuisbergUniversiteit Leuven (KUL)LeuvenBelgium

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