Aim: We retrospectively assessed the use of [(18)F] fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) in the evaluation of recurrent disease in patients with history of gastric malignancy.
Materials and methods: Eighteen patients were referred for FDG PET for evaluation of recurrent gastric cancer. Prior treatments included total (n = 4) or partial gastrectomy (n = 14) followed by chemotherapy alone (n = 7) or combined chemoradiation therapy (n = 2). The interval between the most recent treatment and PET ranged from 3 months to 2 years. Correlative diagnostic data were available in 16 patients and were all obtained within 3 months of the PET study. Validation was by clinical or imaging follow-up (2-45 months) in 16 patients and histology in two patients.
Results: PET was concordant with computed tomography (CT) in 12 patients (5 TP, 6 TN, 1 FN). In one patient with negative imaging studies, an incidental finding of left obstructive uropathy was determined to be due to metastatic ureteral stricture. Discordant imaging findings were present in four patients (22% of total). PET-detected diffuse metastatic lesions in three of these patients with rising serum tumour markers while other imaging studies were negative. Additional chemotherapy was initiated in these three patients (17% of total) based on PET localization of disease. PET and a gastric anastomosis biopsy were negative in another patient with positive CT. The remaining two patients without correlative imaging studies died shortly after positive PET studies with presumed recurrent cancer.
Conclusion: FDG PET may be useful in the evaluation of recurrent gastric cancer, and can localize the disease when CT is non-diagnostic. Imaging evaluation with PET may also impact on the clinical management of patients with recurrent gastric cancer.
Copyright 2003 The Royal College of Radiologists