Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography pattern of pulmonary lymphangitic carcinomatosis

J Comput Assist Tomogr. May-Jun 2005;29(3):346-9. doi: 10.1097/01.rct.0000163952.03192.ef.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) uptake in pulmonary lymphangitic carcinomatosis identified on computed tomography (CT) in patients with lung cancer.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of F-FDG PET images in 7 patients (4 male and 3 female, mean age: 56.6 +/- 6.6 years) with lung cancer with a CT-based diagnosis of lymphangitic carcinomatosis. The F-FDG PET scans in a group of 7 patients (4 male and 3 female, mean age: 42.1 +/- 5.66 years) with normal chest CT scans served as a control group. Mean standardized uptake values (SUVs) were calculated based on average tumor uptake, initial injected activity, and body weight.

Results: The intensity of F-FDG uptake in diseased lung is significantly greater than in corresponding normal contralateral lung or in the lungs of normal controls (P = 0.003). The ratio of the SUV of lung with lymphangitic carcinomatosis to corresponding contralateral normal lung was significantly increased (P = 0.006), and the ratio of the SUV of mediastinal blood pool to lung with lymphangitic carcinomatosis was significantly decreased (P = 0.0002).

Conclusion: There is diffuse increased FDG uptake in the lung corresponding to the CT pattern of lymphangitic carcinomatosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*