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.