Purpose: We performed this network meta-analysis to compare the diagnostic value of 4 imaging methods (magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, computed tomography, and diffusion-weighted imaging) for diagnosing lymph node metastases in cervical cancer.
Method: Diagnostic tests regarding different imaging methods to diagnose lymph node metastases in cervical cancer were retrieved from the Cochrane Library, PubMed, and Embase electronic databases from inception to December 2016. Direct and indirect evidence was performed to calculate the odds ratio and to draw the surface under the cumulative ranking curves of the 4 imaging methods for diagnosing lymph node metastases in cervical cancer.
Results: Sixteen eligible diagnostic tests were included in this network meta-analysis. The results of network meta-analysis demonstrate that in comparison with the diffusion-weighted imaging, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, and diagnostic odds ratio of positron emission tomography were relatively higher. Additionally, the results further indicate that compared with other diagnosis method, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, and diagnostic odds ratio of positron emission tomography had a higher trend. The surface under the cumulative ranking curve results indicated that in terms of positive likelihood ratio and diagnostic odds ratio, positron emission tomography had a relatively higher diagnostic value for lymph node metastases in patients with cervical cancer.
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that positron emission tomography might have a relatively higher diagnostic value for lymph node metastases in patients with cervical cancer.
Keywords: cervical cancer; computed tomography; diagnostic tests; lymph node metastases; magnetic resonance imaging.