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PET/CT colonography in patients with colorectal polyps: a feasibility study

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European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Aims and scope Submit manuscript



To examine: (1) the feasibility of PET/CT colonography (PET/CTc) in patients with colorectal polyps; (2) the impact of metabolic information on CTc interpretation and, conversely, the impact of morphological information on PET characterisation of focal colorectal uptake.


Ten patients with colorectal polyps underwent PET/CTc, followed within 3 h by therapeutic conventional colonoscopy (CC). A radiologist and a nuclear medicine physician analysed the PET/CTc images. The agreement of morphological and metabolic information in the colon and rectum was evaluated. The sensitivity and specificity of PET, CT and PET/CT were calculated for colorectal polyps.


Seventeen polypoid lesions were identified at CC: six≤5 mm, six between 6 and 9 mm, and five ≥10 mm (four hyperplastic polyps, 11 tubular adenomas, one adenocarcinoma and one submucosal lipoma). A total of 20 scans (supine and prone) were performed in the ten patients: the agreement of morphological and metabolic information was excellent in 17 scans, good in two and moderate in one. PET/CTc showed a sensitivity of 91% for lesions ≥6 mm and a specificity of 100%. The metabolic information did not disclose any further polyps missed on CTc. The morphological information permitted correct classification of all eight instances of focal radiotracer uptake.


PET/CTc is a feasible study. Adding a colonographic protocol to PET/CT images seems to allow correct characterisation of all cases of colorectal focal radiotracer uptake. The metabolic information does not seem to increase the accuracy of CTc.

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We thank Mr. Vincenzo Liguori and Mr. Pasquale Gargiulo for their technical support and assistance.

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Correspondence to Pier Paolo Mainenti.

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Mainenti, P.P., Salvatore, B., D’Antonio, D. et al. PET/CT colonography in patients with colorectal polyps: a feasibility study. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 34, 1594–1603 (2007).

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