Implication of 2-18fluor-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the follow-up of Hürthle cell thyroid cancer

Thyroid. 2002 Feb;12(2):155-61. doi: 10.1089/105072502753522392.


The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the value of positron emission tomography (PET) with 2-18fluor-2-deoxy-glucose (FDG) in the follow-up of Hürthle cell thyroid cancer (HTC), a rare variant of thyroid malignancies. FDG-PET studies were performed in 17 patients with HTC. In subgroup A (n = 13) PET was initiated because of an elevated thyroglobulin (Tg) level whereas in subgroup B (n = 4) the study was performed to evaluate suspect findings of morphologic imaging while Tg remained undetectable. Pathologically increased FDG uptake was found in all patients of subgroup A. In 10 studies, PET results were proven as true-positive either by surgery or by morphologic imaging. One study was false-positive. Final evaluation was not possible in two cases. In subgroup B, PET was true-negative in three and false-positive in one patient. For the detection of recurrent HTC by means of FDG-PET a meta-analysis including data of a multicenter study revealed an overall sensitivity of 92%, a specificity of 80%, a positive predictive value of 92%, and a negative predictive value of 80% while the accuracy was 89%. This study supports the efficiency of FDG-PET in the follow-up of HTC.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyroglobulin / blood
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Thyroglobulin