PET/CT vs. non-contrast CT alone for surveillance 1-year post lobectomy for stage I non-small-cell lung cancer

Am J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2013 Sep 19;3(5):408-16. eCollection 2013.


(18)F-FDG PET/CT was compared with non-contrast chest CT in monitoring for recurrence 1-year after lobectomy of stage 1 non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). For surveillance after treatment with curative intent, current (April 2012) National Comprehensive Cancer network guidelines recommend chest CT with or without contrast every 6-12 months for 2 years, then non-contrast chest CT annually. PET/CT is not currently indicated for routine follow-up. One hundred patients receiving surveillance PET/CT 1-year after lobectomy for the treatment of stage 1a or 1b NSCLC were included in the study. Exclusion criteria included the presence or interval diagnosis of a second malignancy, or surgical treatment more radical than single lobectomy. The non-contrast CT obtained from the 1-year PET/CT was interpreted by an experienced chest radiologist blinded to the PET/CT for evidence of recurrence using the following findings: pulmonary nodule, pleural effusion, pleural mass, adenopathy, and extrathoracic mass. The ecision about recurrence was made solely from the non-contrast CT without PET/CT findings. This was compared with the determination made with PET/CT. The reference standard for determination of recurrence was the multi-disciplinary tumor board who had access to all imaging and clinical data. Recurrence at 1 year was documented in 16 of 90 patients. All 16 recurrences were documented with PET/CT and 9 were found with non-contrast CT. Five of the 7 recurrences missed with non-contrast CT were extrathoracic metastases. Sensitivity of CT and PET/CT for recurrence was 56.3% and 100%, respectively (p = 0.015). Specificity of CT and PET/CT for recurrence was 95.9% and 93.2%, respectively (p = 0.62).

Keywords: CT; Lung cancer; PET/CT; lobectomy; lung cancer surveillance; non-small cell; stage 1.