Purpose: This study was designed to evaluate the usefulness of 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) colonography in preoperative diagnosis of the tumors proximal to obstructive colorectal cancers, which were defined as cancers that cannot be traversed colonoscopically.
Methods: A whole-body PET/CT protocol for tumor staging and a protocol for CT colonography were integrated into one examination. No cathartic bowel preparation was used before this examination. Thirteen prospective patients with obstructive cancer were examined. We compared the detection rates for obstructive colorectal cancers and tumors proximal to the obstruction using air-inflated PET/CT colonography to intraoperative examinations, histopathologic outcome, and follow-up colonoscopy.
Results: PET/CT colonography correctly identified all 13 primary obstructive colorectal cancers and all 2 synchronous colon cancers proximal to the obstruction. The two synchronous colon cancers detected at PET/CT colonography were confirmed and removed at single-stage surgical procedures. PET/CT colonography was able to localize all colorectal cancers precisely. There were no false-negative or false-positive proximal colorectal cancers by PET/CT colonography. Other preoperative examinations missed the synchronous colon cancers.
Conclusions: In patients with obstructive colorectal cancers, preoperative PET/CT colonography provided valuable anatomic and functional information of the entire colon to properly address surgery of colorectal cancer.