PET-CT as a predictor of outcome in resectable colorectal liver metastases

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IntroductionPET-computed tomography (PET-CT) is a useful staging imaging modality in colorectal liver metastases (CRLM). This study aimed to determine whether PET-CT parameters, standardized uptake value (SUV) and reconstructed tumour volume (RTV), are predictors of prognosis and survival.MethodsA study of all resectable CRLM patients in the regional HPB unit from 2007–2009 was performed. Preoperative PET-CT scans were retrospectively reviewed; SUV, diameter and RTV for each lesion was recorded. Correlation analysis was performed with other pathological and biochemical parameters, by Pearson’s correlation analysis. Survival analysis was performed using Cox regression hazard model. A P value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.ResultsA total of 79 patients were included. SUV moderately correlated with tumour diameter, both PET-CT (r=0.4927; P<0.0001) and histology (r=0.4513; P=0.0003); RTV (r=0.4489; P<0.001), preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) (r=0.4977; P=0.0001), and postoperative CEA (r=0.3727; P=0.004). Multivariate analysis found that an independent predictor of SUVmax was preoperative CEA (P=0.03). RTV strongly correlated with preoperative CEA (r=0.9389; P<0.0001). SUV and RTV had a negative effect on survival.ConclusionPET-CT, in the setting of CRLM, may have a prognostic role in assessing survival. Although no definite conclusions can be drawn regarding the prognostic role of SUV and RTV, it acts to reinforce the need for further prospective studies to validate these findings.

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