Additional value of integrated PET-CT in the detection and characterization of lung metastases: correlation with CT alone and PET alone

Eur Radiol. 2007 Feb;17(2):467-73. doi: 10.1007/s00330-006-0362-7. Epub 2006 Oct 3.


The purpose was evaluating retrospectively the additional value of integrated positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) in the detection of pulmonary metastases in comparison with CT and PET alone. Fifty-six lung nodules, divided into three groups according their size, detected in 24 consecutive patients with a known primary tumor were retrospectively evaluated with integrated PET-CT, CT and PET. The nature of these nodules was determined by either histopathology or a follow-up of at least 6 months. The CT and PET images of the integrated PET-CT were evaluated separately by a radiologist and a nuclear medicine physician, the integrated PET-CT images were evaluated by a chest radiologist and nuclear medicine physician in consensus. The investigators were asked to search lung nodules and to determine whether these nodules were metastases or not. Sensitivity and accuracy for CT, PET and integrated PET-CT for characterization of all pulmonary nodules were, respectively: 100%, 90%, 100% and 57%, 55%, 55%. There was no significant difference in the characterization of pulmonary nodules between integrated PET-CT and CT alone (P=1.000) and PET alone (P=0.1306). An accurate evaluation is only possible for lesions larger than 1 cm.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Research Design
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / diagnosis
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Tongue Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vascular Neoplasms / pathology