Clinical and Translational Oncology

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 111–118 | Cite as

Utility of 18F-FDG-PET/CT in patients suspected of paraneoplastic neurological syndrome: importance of risk classification

  • F. J. Pena PardoEmail author
  • A. M. García Vicente
  • M. Amo-Salas
  • J. F. López-Fidalgo
  • J. A. Garrido Robles
  • J. Á. de Ayala Fernández
  • P. del Saz Saucedo
  • M. Muñoz Pasadas
  • A. Soriano Castrejón
Research Article



To assess the diagnostic impact of 18F-FDG-PET/CT in patients suspected of paraneoplastic neurological syndrome (PNS) based on our own pre-test risk classification (PRC).


A multicenter retrospective longitudinal study was conducted from 2006 to 2014. We designed a seven-point scoring system using the clinical syndrome characteristics [classical (CS) and non-classical syndromes (NCS)] and its location (central, peripheral, in the neuromuscular junction or combined), onconeural antibodies and tumor markers. Patients were classified as low (score 0–2), intermediate (3–4) and high (5–7) pre-test risk of PNS. FDG-PET/CT was classified as negative or positive. Final diagnosis according Graus’ criteria (definite, possible or no PNS) was established. Relations between clinical and metabolic variables with the final diagnosis were studied.


73 patients were included, with a follow-up time of 33 months. Eleven (15 %) patients were finally diagnosed with neoplasm (8 invasive cancers). Ultimately, 13 (18 %) and 24 (33 %) subjects were diagnosed as definite or possible PNS. All the patients with final diagnosis of neoplasm had a CS (p = 0.005). PET/CT was helpful to diagnose 6/8 (75 %) invasive cancers. PET/CT findings were associated with the final diagnosis of neoplasm (p = 0.003) and the diagnosis of PNS attending to Graus’ criteria (p = 0.019). PRC showed significant association with the final diagnosis of neoplasm and PET/CT results. A majority of patients (10/11) diagnosed of neoplasm had intermediate/high-risk.


Our PRC seems to be a valid tool to select candidates for PET/CT imaging in this setting. PET/CT detected malignancy in a significant proportion of patients with invasive cancer.


Paraneoplastic neurological syndrome Risk classification PET/CT 18F-FDG 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Research involving human participants and/or animals. Ethical approval

For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Federación de Sociedades Españolas de Oncología (FESEO) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. J. Pena Pardo
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. M. García Vicente
    • 1
  • M. Amo-Salas
    • 2
  • J. F. López-Fidalgo
    • 2
  • J. A. Garrido Robles
    • 3
  • J. Á. de Ayala Fernández
    • 4
  • P. del Saz Saucedo
    • 5
  • M. Muñoz Pasadas
    • 6
  • A. Soriano Castrejón
    • 1
  1. 1.Nuclear Medicine DepartmentUniversity General HospitalCiudad RealSpain
  2. 2.Mathematics DepartmentCastilla La Mancha UniversityCiudad RealSpain
  3. 3.Neurology DepartmentVirgen de la Salud HospitalToledoSpain
  4. 4.Internal Medicine DepartmentUniversity HospitalAlbaceteSpain
  5. 5.Neurology DepartmentMancha Centro HospitalCiudad RealSpain
  6. 6.Neurology DepartmentPuertollano HospitalCiudad RealSpain

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