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Radiologia Brasileira

On-line version ISSN 1678-7099


MOHAN, Kamlesh et al. Impact of 18F-FDG PET scan on the prevalence of benign thoracic lesions at surgical resection. Radiol Bras [online]. 2011, vol.44, n.5, pp.279-282. ISSN 1678-7099.

OBJECTIVE: The main utility of 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) lies in the staging of lung cancer. However, it can also be used to differentiate indeterminate pulmonary lesions, but its impact on the resection of benign lesions at surgery is unknown. The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of benign lesions at thoracotomy carried out for suspected lung cancer, before and after the introduction of PET scanning in a large thoracic surgical centre. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed our prospectively recorded surgical database for all consecutive patients undergoing thoracotomy for suspected or proven lung cancer and compared the prevalence of benign lesions in 2 consecutive 2-year groups, before (group I) and after (group II) the introduction of FDG-PET scan respectively. RESULTS: Surgical resection was performed on 1233 patients during the study period. The prevalence of benign lesions at surgery in groups I and II was similar (44/626 and 41/607, both 7%), and also in group II between those who underwent FDG-PET scan and the remainder (21/301 and 20/306 respectively, both 7%). In group II, of the 21 patients with benign lesions, who underwent FDG-PET, 19 had a false positive scan (mean standardised uptake value 5.3 [range 2.6-12.7]). Of these, 13 and 4 patients respectively had non-diagnostic bronchoscopy and percutaneous transthoracic lung biopsy pre thoracotomy. There was no difference in the proportion of different benign lesions resected between group I and those with FDG-PET in group II. CONCLUSION: The introduction of FDG-PET scanning has not altered the proportion of patients undergoing thoracotomy for ultimately benign lesions, mainly due to the avidity for the isotope of some non-malignant lesions. Such false positive results need to be considered when patients with unconfirmed lung cancer are contemplated for surgical resection.

Keywords : Positron emission tomography; Computed tomography; Lung - benign or congenital lesions; Lung cancer - diagnosis and staging; Lung cancer - surgery.

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