Whole-body 18F FDG positron emission tomography/computed tomography evaluation of patients with uveal metastasis

Am J Ophthalmol. 2012 Apr;153(4):661-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2011.09.028. Epub 2012 Jan 20.


Purpose: To investigate the value of whole-body positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) as a screening tool for patients with uveal metastasis.

Design: Retrospective observational case series.

Methods: setting: Clinical practice. study population: Eighteen patients with uveal metastatic tumors were evaluated. Patients had no history of malignancy or a past medical history of malignancy without known active metastasis or known systemic cancer. intervention: Whole-body PET/CT was used as a screening tool to evaluate the intraocular tumor, to evaluate for multi-organ metastatic disease, and for cancer staging. main outcome measures: Detection and PET/CT uptake of primary tumors and metastatic disease.

Results: PET/CT imaging uncovered previously occult primary nonocular cancers (11/18, 61%), revealed progression of known primary systemic cancer (7/18, 39%), and confirmed multi-organ metastases in all cases (18/18, 100%). PET/CT findings were used to direct nonocular, confirmatory biopsy in 67% of cases (12/18). No uveal biopsies were required. PET/CT revealed lymph nodes and bone as the most common metastatic sites. The intraocular tumor was detectable in 28% of cases. Small, non-avid tumors and those within the hypermetabolic, PET-avid brain were falsely negative.

Conclusion: This study suggests that whole-body PET/CT can be useful for clinical evaluation of patients with uveal metastases. It allowed for screening of the entire body and directed extraocular biopsy. Commonly used for tumor staging, PET/CT aided in the detection of the primary cancer in patients with metastatic uveal tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Melanoma, Amelanotic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Melanoma, Amelanotic / secondary
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Uveal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Uveal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Whole Body Imaging* / methods


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18