Staging non-small cell lung cancer with whole-body PET

Radiology. 1999 Sep;212(3):803-9. doi: 10.1148/radiology.212.3.r99se21803.


Purpose: To compare the accuracies of whole-body 2-[fluorine 18]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) and conventional imaging (thoracic computed tomography [CT], bone scintigraphy, and brain CT or magnetic resonance [MR] imaging) in staging bronchogenic carcinoma.

Materials and methods: Within 20 months, 100 patients with newly diagnosed bronchogenic carcinoma underwent whole-body FDG PET and chest CT. Ninety of these patients underwent radionuclide bone scintigraphy, and 70 patients underwent brain CT or MR imaging. For each patient, all examinations were completed within 1 month. A radiologic stage was assigned by using PET and conventional imaging independently and was compared with the pathologic stage. The accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and negative and positive predictive values were calculated.

Results: PET staging was accurate in 83 (83%) patients; conventional imaging staging was accurate in 65 (65%) patients (P < .005). Staging with mediastinal lymph nodes was correct by using PET in 67 (85%) patients and by using CT in 46 (58%) patients (P < .001). Nine (9%) patients had metastases demonstrated by using PET that were not found with conventional imaging, whereas 10 (10%) patients suspected of having metastases because of conventional imaging findings were correctly shown with PET to not have metastases.

Conclusion: Whole-body PET was more accurate than thoracic CT, bone scintigraphy, and brain CT or MR imaging in staging bronchogenic carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / secondary
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Whole-Body Counting*


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18