Objectives: Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography/contrast-enhanced computed tomography (PET/CE-CT) involving whole-body scanning first by non-CE-CT and FDG-PET followed by CE-CT has been used for detailed examination of pancreatic lesions. We evaluated PET/CE-CT images with regard to differential diagnosis, staging, treatment response, and postoperative recurrence in pancreatic cancer.
Methods: Positron emission tomography/CE-CT was conducted in 108 patients with pancreatic cancer and in 41 patients with other pancreatic tumor diseases.
Results: The maximum standardized uptake value (SUV(max)) overlapped in benign and malignant cases, suggesting that differential diagnosis of pancreatic tumors based on the SUV(max) is difficult. In the evaluation of staging in 31 resectable pancreatic cancer by PET/CE-CT, the diagnostic accuracy rate was more than 80% for most factors concerning local invasion and 94% for distant metastasis but only 42% for lymph node metastasis. Significant positive correlations were found between the SUV(max) and tumor size/markers, suggesting that SUV(max) may be a useful indicator for the treatment response. Regarding the diagnosis of the postoperative recurrence, PET/CE-CT correctly detected local recurrence in all the 11 cases of recurrence, whereas abdominal CE-CT detected only 7 of 11 cases, suggesting that PET/CE-CT is superior in this context.
Conclusions: Positron emission tomography/CE-CT is useful for the clinical management of pancreatic cancer.