The role of PET scan in the preoperative management of oesophageal cancer

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2004 Nov;30(9):942-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2004.07.020.


Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of the 18F-FDG-PET in the preoperative evaluation of patients with oesophageal or gastro-oesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer and to define its impact on therapeutic management.

Patients and methods: This study included 58 patients with biopsy proven oesophageal or GEJ cancer who underwent PET in addition to the conventional diagnostic work-up. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of CT and PET were calculated for detection of tumour and distant metastases.

Results: The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of tumour detection were, respectively, 84, 100 and 84% for CT and 87, 100 and 87% for PET (p=ns). PET permitted detection of distant metastases, which were not seen on CT in seven patients. In two patients, a second primary tumour was detected on PET.

Conclusions: The sensitivity of PET for loco regional lymph nodes detection is low. The major clinical impact is the detection of distant metastases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Esophagogastric Junction / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18