Detecting metastatic pelvic lymph nodes by 18F-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography in patients with prostate-specific antigen relapse after treatment for localized prostate cancer

Urol Int. 2003;70(4):311-5. doi: 10.1159/000070141.


Aim: To evaluate whether positron emission tomography (PET) with (18)F-2-deoxyglucose (FDG) can detect pelvic lymph node metastases in prostate cancer patients who had elevated serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels after treatment.

Methods: Twenty-four patients with a rising serum PSA level after treatment for localized prostate cancer were examined with FDG-PET before pelvic lymph node dissection. All patients had negative findings on whole body bone scan and equivocal pelvic computed tomography (CT) results. The results of FDG-PET were then compared to the histology of the pelvic lymph nodes obtained at surgery.

Results: Lymph node metastases were detected by histopathological examination in 16/24 (66.7%) patients. At the sites with histopathologically proven metastases, increased FDG uptake was found in 12/16 (75.0%) patients. In addition, there were 4 patients with false-negative results, but no patient with a false-positive result on FDG-PET images. The sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of FDG-PET in detecting metastatic pelvic lymph nodes were 75.0, 100.0, 83.3, 100.0, and 67.7%, respectively.

Conclusions: These results suggest that FDG-PET may be a valuable diagnostic tool in the staging of pelvic lymph nodes in patients with PSA relapse after treatment of localized prostate cancer when the whole body bone scan is negative and pelvic CT findings are equivocal.

MeSH terms

  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen