Role of FDG-PET in the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal liver metastases

Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2004 Aug;4(4):607-13. doi: 10.1586/14737140.4.4.607.


Positron emission tomography (PET) using [(18)F]-2-deoxy-2-fluoro-d-glucose (FDG) has emerged as a promising diagnostic modality in recurrent colorectal cancer. Data in the literature show that the addition of FDG-PET changes disease management in up to 30% of patients with potentially resectable liver metastases, mainly by detecting previously unknown extrahepatic disease. Furthermore, FDG-PET is useful in the follow-up of patients who underwent surgical procedures of the liver, since it is exquisitely sensitive in detecting residual or relapse malignancy in scarred liver tissue following both resection and local ablative techniques. For follow-up during systemic therapy, early FDG-PET appears predictive for response to therapy. However, at present, the available data are insufficient to justify the FDG-PET-driven management of patients treated with chemotherapy. FDG-PET and computerized tomography are complimentary techniques in staging and restaging patients with advanced colorectal cancer. The combination of these two modalities significantly impacts upon patient management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging*
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18