Background: Accuracy of (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and contribution to surgical decision making in recurrent or metastatic colorectal cancer were evaluated.
Methods: One hundred whole-body PET tests in colorectal cancer patients (1994 to 1998) were compared with computed tomography (CT), liver ultrasonography, and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test. Mean follow-up was 12 months.
Results: Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of FDG-PET for malignant findings were, respectively, 98%, 90% and 95%; for 87 CT scans, 91%, 72%, and 82%; for 98 CEA tests, 76%, 90%, and 82%; for detection of liver metastases with PET, 100%, 99%, and 99%; and for 68 ultrasound tests, 87%, 96%, and 93%. PET accuracy for local recurrence was 96%. Additional information was provided by PET in 86% of cases (abdomen, thorax, liver). PET influenced surgical decisions in 61% of cases.
Conclusion: FDG-PET adds relevant accuracy to the conventional staging of patients with colorectal cancer and may cost-effectively help to select the appropriate treatment.