Image analysis in patients with cancer studied with a combined PET and CT scanner

Clin Nucl Med. 2000 Nov;25(11):905-10. doi: 10.1097/00003072-200011000-00010.


Purpose: To compare combined whole-body PET and CT images of different cancers with PET images alone.

Materials and methods: Thirty-two patients with known or possible cancers were examined using a combined positron emission tomographic (PET) and computed tomographic (CT) scanner. All data were acquired using this same combined scanner. After an injection of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), noncontrast helical CT imaging of the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis was performed. The spiral CT was followed by a PET scan covering the same axial extent as the CT.

Results: Coregistered PET-CT images identified and localized 55 lesions. In 10 patients (31%), areas with variable amounts of normal physiologic FDG uptake were distinguished from potential uptake of FDG in a nearby neoplastic lesion. Improved localization was achieved in 9 patients (for a total of 13 lesions, or 24%).

Conclusion: Combined PET-CT images appear more effective than PET images alone to localize precisely neoplastic lesions and to distinguish normal variants from juxtaposed neoplastic lesions.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18