Purpose: We investigated the clinical relevance of digital image fusion of CT and 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) studies in patients with suspected abdominal and/or pelvic metastasis.
Method: Nineteen patients with suspected residual/recurrent malignancies underwent CT and [18F]FDG PET studies of the abdomen and/or pelvis. The data sets of both modalities were fused on a digital workstation by automatic adaptation of the pixel size and the slice thickness. Different body positions were corrected by semiautomatic adaptation of the body axes. The fused images were reconstructed in sagittal, coronal, and axial planes.
Results: Good spatial correlation between both modalities was achieved in all patients. Image fusion improved the spatial allocation of pathologically increased [18F]FDG uptake in 7 of 35 lesions (20%).
Conclusion: This work suggests that digital image fusion of CT and [18F]FDG PET data sets improves the anatomical localization of foci with increased [18F]FDG enhancement of the retroperitoneum and the abdominal/pelvic wall, respectively.