Integrated 18FDG PET/CT: Utility and Applications in Clinical Oncology


Accurate diagnosis and staging are essential for an optimal management of cancer patients. Positron emision tomography with 2-deoxy-2-fluorine-18-fluoro-D-glucose ((18)FDG-PET) and, more recently, (18)FDG-PET/computed tomography ((18)FDG-PET/CT) have emerged as powerful imaging tools in oncology, because of the valuable functional information they provide. The combined acquisition of PET and CT has synergistic advantages over its isolated constituents and minimizes their limitations. It decreases examination times by 25%-40%, leads to a higher patient throughput and unificates two imaging procedures in a single session. There is evidence that (18)FDG-PET/CT is a more accurate test than either of its components for the evaluation of various tumors. It is a particularly valuable tool for detection of recurrence, especially in asymptomatic patients with rising tumor markers and those with negative or equivocal findings on conventional imaging tests. Yet, there are some limitations and areas of uncertainty, mainly regarding the lack of specificity of the (18)FDG uptake and the variable (18)FDG avidity of some cancers. This article reviews the advantages, limitations and main applications of (18)FDG-PET/CT in oncology, with especial emphasis on lung cancer, colorectal cancer, lymphomas, melanoma and head and neck cancers.

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@inproceedings{Pinilla2008Integrated1P, title={Integrated 18FDG PET/CT: Utility and Applications in Clinical Oncology}, author={Inmaculada Pinilla and Beatriz Rodr{\'i}guez-Vigil and Nieves G{\'o}mez-Le{\'o}n}, booktitle={Clinical medicine. Oncology}, year={2008} }