FDG-PET evaluation of indeterminate pancreatic masses

J Comput Assist Tomogr. May-Jun 1996;20(3):363-9. doi: 10.1097/00004728-199605000-00006.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the ability of PET with 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) to differentiate benign from malignant pancreatic masses in patients with indeterminate findings on CT.

Method: We performed FDG-PET on 12 patients with indeterminate mass lesions and 2 patients with CT findings typical for malignancy. Eight were found to have pancreatic carcinoma and six had benign lesions. The final diagnosis was histopathologically confirmed in all patients but two with a presumed diagnosis of focal pancreatitis based on stable clinical follow-up for at least 12 months. Lesion uptake of FDG was evaluated qualitatively and semiquantitatively by determination of the standardized uptake value (SUV) RESULTS: With use of a 2.5 cutoff value for SUV, all eight malignant and four of six benign lesions were correctly categorized. Qualitative evaluation gave the same results. The two false-positive lesions had elevated SUV values of 3.4 and 3.8, respectively.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that FDG-PET has potential value for assessing patients with CT findings that are indeterminate for pancreatic carcinoma. FDG-PET may obviate invasive diagnostic procedures in many patients with benign disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Deoxyglucose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Deoxyglucose