A proposal for combined MRI and PET/CT interpretation criteria for preoperative nodal staging in non-small-cell lung cancer
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To determine the positive reading criteria for malignant nodes when interpreting combined MRI and PET/CT images for preoperative nodal staging in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Forty-nine patients with biopsy-proven NSCLC underwent both PET/CT and thoracic MRI [diffusion weighted imaging (DWI)]. Each nodal station was evaluated for the presence of metastasis by applying either inclusive (positive if either one read positive) or exclusive (positive if both read positive) criteria in the combined interpretation of PET/CT and MRI. Nodal stage was confirmed pathologically. The combined diagnostic accuracy of PET/CT and MRI was determined on per-nodal station and per-patient bases and compared with that of PET/CT alone.
In 49 patients, 39 (19%) of 206 nodal stations harboured malignant cells. Out of 206 nodal stations, 186 (90%) had concordant readings, while the rest (10%) had discordant readings. Inclusive criteria of combined PET/CT and MRI helped increase sensitivity for detecting nodal metastasis (69%) compared with PET/CT alone (46%; P = 0.003), while specificity was not significantly decreased.
Inclusive criteria in combined MRI and PET/CT readings help improve significantly the sensitivity for detecting nodal metastasis compared with PET/CT alone and may decrease unnecessary open thoracotomy.
• Combined interpretation of MRI and PET/CT enhances the detection of nodal metastasis.
• Inclusive criteria of combined MRI/PET/CT improved the sensitivity for detecting nodal metastasis.
• Combined interpretation of MRI and PET/CT may reduce unnecessary open thoracotomies.
KeywordsMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Diffusion weighted MR imaging (DWI) PET/CT Lung cancer Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
This study was supported in part by the Clinical Research Development Program (CRL-110-01-1).
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