Diagnostic value of 18F-FDG PET/CT for lymph node metastasis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
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This study investigated the diagnostic accuracy of hybrid positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) for lymph node (LN) metastasis of esophageal cancer. We also investigated the correlation between the size of metastatic nests and the detection by PET/CT.
Two hundred and fifty-eight patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma who underwent esophagectomy with two- or three-field radical lymphadenectomy were analyzed retrospectively. We compared the diagnosis of preoperative PET/CT to the postoperative histopathological examination by each anatomical field (n = 1,231) in all 258 patients. The metastatic LNs resected from PET/CT positive fields were classified as belonging to the PET/CT-N-positive group (n = 229) and those from negative fields as belonging to the PET/CT-N-negative group (n = 352). The cross-sectional areas of metastatic nests were measured in each metastatic LN.
Of the 1,231 fields, 275 (22 %) were positive for metastasis, including 581 LNs from 408 regional LN stations. The sensitivity and specificity of PET/CT examined by each anatomical field were 25.8 and 97.8 %, respectively. The median area of metastatic nests was 17.7 mm2 in the PET/CT-N-positive group, and 7.7 mm2 in the PET/CT-N-negative group (p < 0.001).
A significant correlation was suggested between the nest size and detection by PET/CT. Because of its low sensitivity, PET/CT alone is insufficient to determine the surgical procedures, especially when considering reduction surgery.
KeywordsPET/CT Esophageal cancer Lymph node metastasis Diagnosis Squamous cell carcinoma
Conflict of interest
We declare no potential conflicts of interest in association with this study.
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