Abdominal Imaging

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 127–133 | Cite as

18F-FDG-PET/CT is of limited value in primary staging of early stage cervical cancer

  • Dearbhail O. Driscoll
  • Darragh Halpenny
  • Ciaran Johnston
  • Niall Sheehy
  • Mary Keogan



To assess the clinical benefit of 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (18F-FDG-PET/CT) in evaluating pelvic lymph nodes in patients with early stage cervical cancer (FIGO stage 1a–1b1), who have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-defined lymph node negative disease, with histopathologic results as the reference standard.

Materials and Methods

We assessed one hundred and seventy nine sequential 18F-FDG-PET/CT scans in women with newly diagnosed cervical carcinoma between January 2009 and September 2011. 47 of these patients had early stage disease (FIGO stage 1a–1b1) with no suspicious lymph nodes on MRI. 18F-FDG-PET/CT images were analyzed and histopathological findings (pelvic lymph node resection) served as the reference standard.


The median age of patients was 48 (range 22–86) years. 66 % had squamous histotype. Median number of nodes dissected per patient was 21 (range 8–47), 2 of 47 patients had nodal metastases (4.25 %). All patients in this group had no suspicious lymph nodes on 18F-FDG-PET/CT. Overall patient based sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of 18F-FDG-PET/CT for detection of nodal disease were 0 %, 100 %, 0 %, 96 %, and 96 % respectively.


Pathologic validation of 18F-FDG-PET/CT imaging demonstrates little value for 18F-FDG-PET/CT in patients with early stage (FIGO stage 1a–1b1) MRI-defined lymph node negative cervical carcinoma. Since the likelihood of metastatic nodal disease is very low in women with stage 1a–1b1 cervical cancer, we believe that 18F-FDG-PET/CT should not have a role in the routine pre-treatment evaluation of these women.


Oncology Gynecology Cervical Cancer 18F-FDG-PET/CT MRI 


Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dearbhail O. Driscoll
    • 1
  • Darragh Halpenny
    • 1
  • Ciaran Johnston
    • 1
  • Niall Sheehy
    • 1
  • Mary Keogan
    • 1
  1. 1.St. James HospitalDublinIreland

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