Positron emission tomography/computed tomography imaging for the detection of recurrent ovarian and fallopian tube carcinoma: a retrospective review

Gynecol Oncol. 2002 Apr;85(1):53-8. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2002.6606.


Purpose: Imaging modalities to evaluate ovarian/fallopian tube cancer patients for recurrence are limited. Positron emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound lack the sensitivity to consistently detect recurrence or measurable disease in these patients. A new technique combines PET and CT (PET/CT) images to identify increased metabolic activity and to locate that signal with improved anatomic specificity. The objective of this study is to compare PET/CT, CT, and histologic findings in patients with recurrent ovarian/fallopian tube cancers.

Methods: Retrospective chart review of eight patients with primary ovarian (n = 6) or fallopian tube (n = 2) cancer was performed. All eight patients underwent initial cytoreductive surgery. Five patients initially received chemotherapy, one received radioactive phosphorus ((32)P), one received tamoxifen, and one received no therapy. Seven of eight patients had a suspected recurrence based on clinical examination, elevated CA-125 level, and/or abnormal CT findings; one patient requested a PET/CT. Histologic findings from surgery were correlated with PET/CT and CT findings.

Results: All eight patients had positive histology, and of these, seven patients had a negative CT and five patients had lesions that were correctly identified by PET/CT.

Conclusions: Five of the eight (62%) patients had recurrent disease based on correlative histology with a positive PET/CT and a negative CT. These preliminary findings suggest that combined PET/CT may be an effective means of identifying patients with recurrent ovarian/fallopian tube cancer. Such patients could potentially proceed to salvage treatment and avoid the morbidity and expense of surgical assessment. Pilot studies comparing CT, PET, PET/CT, and histologic findings are underway.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / pathology
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery
  • Phosphorus Radioisotopes
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods


  • Phosphorus Radioisotopes