Meta-analysis of positron emission tomographic and computed tomographic imaging in detecting mediastinal lymph node metastases in nonsmall cell lung cancer

Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Jan;79(1):375-82. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2004.06.041.


A systematic review was undertaken to select studies that compared the accuracy of 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography with computed tomographic imaging in detecting mediastinal lymph node metastases in patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer. Two authors selected relevant articles according to predefined criteria. With a meta-analytic method, summary receiver operating characteristic curves were constructed. The point on the receiver operating characteristic curve with equal sensitivity and specificity for 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography was Q* = 0.90 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.86 to 0.95). For computed tomography it was 0.70 (95% CI, 0.65 to 0.75). The difference was highly significant (p < 0.0001). We conclude that 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography is more accurate than computed tomography in detecting mediastinal lymph node metastases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / secondary*
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Mediastinum / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Research Design
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18