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Diagnostic accuracy of contrast-enhanced FDG-PET/CT in primary staging of cutaneous malignant melanoma

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



To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of contrast-enhanced FDG-PET/CT (ce-PET/CT), PET-only, and CT-only in patients with newly diagnosed and resected cutaneous malignant melanoma.


A final group of 56 patients (mean age 62 years, range 23–86 years; 29 women, 27 men) were staged with ce-PET/CT after resection of the primary tumour. Histopathology as well as clinical follow-up (mean 780 days, range 102–1,390 days) served as the standards of reference. Differences between the staging modalities were tested for statistical significance with McNemar’s test.


All imaging procedures provided low sensitivities in the detection of lymph nodes (sensitivity N-stage: PET/CT and PET-only 38.5%; CT-only 23.1%) and distant metastases (sensitivity M-stage: PET/CT 41.7%, PET-only 33.3%, CT-only 25.0%) in initial staging after resection of the primary tumour. No statistically significant differences were detected between the imaging procedures (p > 0.05). PET/CT resulted in an alteration in further treatment in two patients compared to PET-only and in four patients compared to CT-only.


All imaging modalities had a low sensitivity on initial staging of patients with malignant melanoma. Thus, close patient follow-up must be considered mandatory.

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Correspondence to Patrick Veit-Haibach.

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Veit-Haibach, P., Vogt, F.M., Jablonka, R. et al. Diagnostic accuracy of contrast-enhanced FDG-PET/CT in primary staging of cutaneous malignant melanoma. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 36, 910–918 (2009).

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