Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2012; 16 (14): 1951-1960

Virtual bronchoscopy using FDG-PET/CT images for the evaluation of lung cancer

D. Yildirim, M. Tamam, Y. Sanli, M.A. Ozgul, A. Somay

Department of Radiology, Kasimpasa Military Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.


PURPOSE: We aimed to put forward the contribution of virtual bronchoscopy in the determination and diagnosis of tracheobronchial system pathologies. We compared the data obtained from PET/CT and virtual bronchoscopy (VB) with the fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB) data of the cases with a diagnosis or pre-diagnosis of lung tumor.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 261 (male=238, female=23) lung cancer cases with a mean age of 53±7.3 years (range =35-77 years), who had undergone FOB and had bronchoalveolar lavage and/or biopsy results, were included in this multicenter, prospective study conducted between 2006 and 2008. FOB data confirmed with cytohistopathology were considered as the gold standard. Five cases that had peripheral lesions, with negative cytopathological results were excluded from the study. Positron emission tomography images were fused with 16/slice multi-detector computed tomography system images (Discovery ST PET/16 slice CT fusion system HPOWER 60; General Electric Medical Systems, Milwaukee, WI, USA). Thereafter, all of the cases were evaluated with virtual bronchoscopy, using a special multidisplay workstation with multiplanar reformatting (MPR) and minimum intensity projection (MINIP) to see the fused images simultaneously. The data obtained with both virtual bronchoscopy (PET/CT VB) and FOB in different centers were recorded, and the evaluation and comparison of these data were done by an independent researcher. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of making an accurate diagnosis and defining concomitant pathologies by both methods, were calculated.

RESULTS: The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy values of VB and PET/CT-VB in determining the segment involved by malignancy were as follows, 91%, 83%, 94%, 77%, and 89%, and 95%, 97%, 99%, 87%, and 96%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The sensitivity of PET/CT-VB in determining the involved tracheobronchial segment(s) in malignancy and concomitant pathologies in cases with lung tumor was remarkably higher than that with CT-VB. Therefore, PET/CT-VB is recommended to be included in routine lung cancer examinations since it provides similar outcomes to that of FOB+cytohistopathological examination.

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To cite this article

D. Yildirim, M. Tamam, Y. Sanli, M.A. Ozgul, A. Somay
Virtual bronchoscopy using FDG-PET/CT images for the evaluation of lung cancer

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2012
Vol. 16 - N. 14
Pages: 1951-1960