European Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 931–937

Added value of FDG-PET imaging in the diagnostic workup for yttrium-90 radioembolisation in patients with colorectal cancer liver metastases

  • Charlotte E. N. M. Rosenbaum
  • M. A. A. J. van den Bosch
  • W. B. Veldhuis
  • J. E. Huijbregts
  • M. Koopman
  • M. G. E. H. Lam



Yttrium-90 radioembolisation (Y90-RE) is recommended for unresectable, chemorefractory liver-dominant disease; however, the incidence of extrahepatic disease (EHD) is high. FDG-PET may have additional value to CT in demonstrating EHD. Our aim was to evaluate the added diagnostic value of FDG-PET to abdominal CT and study the influence of FDG-PET findings on treatment decisions.


All consecutive patients with colorectal cancer liver metastases (CRCLM) referred for Y90-RE were included. Patients who underwent both CT and FDG-PET in the diagnostic workup were selected. Imaging reports were scrutinised for documented sites of EHD, and changes of management due to FDG-PET findings were determined.


A total of 42 patients were included. Findings on CT and FDG-PET matched in 20 patients (no EHD, n = 15; identical EHD, n = 5). In 4 patients, lesions detected on CT were not FDG-avid, and in 18 patients, FDG-PET showed more lesions than CT (P < 0.05). In 7/42 patients (17 %) a change of management was made based on the additional FDG-PET findings, i.e. exclusion from Y90-RE treatment (n = 6) and change in treatment plan (whole liver rather than segmental treatment, n = 1).


In patients with CRCLM referred for Y90-RE, FDG-PET showed significantly more EHD and led to a considerable change of management.

Key Points

Yttrium-90 radioembolisation is a locoregional treatment for liver tumours

Detection of extrahepatic lesions, for which CT is widely used, is crucial

FDG-PET shows significantly more extrahepatic lesions compared to CT

FDG-PET findings led to a considerable change in treatment decisions


Colorectal cancer Liver metastases Radioembolisation Diagnostic workup FDG-PET 


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte E. N. M. Rosenbaum
    • 1
  • M. A. A. J. van den Bosch
    • 1
  • W. B. Veldhuis
    • 1
  • J. E. Huijbregts
    • 1
  • M. Koopman
    • 2
  • M. G. E. H. Lam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiology and Nuclear MedicineUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Medical OncologyUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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