FDG PET-CT of gynecologic cancers: pearls and pitfalls

Abdom Imaging. 2015 Oct;40(7):2472-85. doi: 10.1007/s00261-015-0362-7.


FDG PET-CT plays an important role in treatment planning and in prognosis assessment of gynecologic cancer patients. Detection of hypermetabolic tissue with FDG PET, when combined with the high spatial resolution of CT, results in improved cancer detection and localization not afforded by either modality independently. This article is a primer for a radiologist performing PET-CT on gynecologic cancer patients and includes the imaging protocol, normal pattern of FDG distribution in the female pelvis and the lymph node drainage pathways from the gynecologic organs. Clinically relevant imaging findings that should be included in the report are discussed. Case examples illustrate how potential errors in exam interpretation can be avoided by concurrently performing a high-quality diagnostic CT with the FDG PET scan and by analyzing both the stand-alone and the fusion images.

Keywords: Female pelvic imaging; Gynecologic cancer; PET image quality; PET–CT.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Multimodal Imaging*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18