PET/CT imaging in different types of lung cancer: an overview

Eur J Radiol. 2012 May;81(5):988-1001. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2011.03.020. Epub 2011 Mar 31.


Lung cancer (LC) still represents one of the most common tumours in both women and men. PET/CT is a whole-body non-invasive imaging procedure that has been increasingly used for the assessment of LC patients. In particular, PET/CT added value to CT is mainly related to a more accurate staging of nodal and metastatic sites and to the evaluation of the response to therapy. Although the most common PET tracer for LC evaluation is 18F-FDG, new tracers have been proposed for the evaluation of lung neuroendocrine tumours (68Ga-DOTA-peptides, 18F-DOPA) and for the assessment of central nervous system metastasis (11C-methionine). This review focuses on the main clinical applications and accuracy of PET/CT for the detection of non-small cells lung cancer (NSCLC), broncho-alveolar carcinoma (BAC), small cells lung cancer (SCLC), lung neuroendocrine tumours (NET) and solitary pulmonary nodules (SPN).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Lung Neoplasms / classification*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Subtraction Technique*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*