This study aimed to assess the value of preoperative fluorine 18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET-CT) for predicting microvascular invasion (MVI) in small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).Methods
We retrospectively examined 60 patients who received 18F-FDG PET-CT prior to hepatic resection for small HCC (≤30 mm) with subsequent MVI confirmation by histopathology. The associations between PET-positive status and tumor factors were assessed. Furthermore, independent predictors for MVI and diagnostic utility of each MVI predictor were assessed.Results
Multivariate analysis revealed the presence of MVI as an independent predictor of PET-positive status (P = 0.023). Maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of 3.2 or greater (P = 0.017) and lens culinaris agglutinin a-reactive α-fetoprotein (AFP-L3) 19% or greater (P = 0.010) were independent predictors of MVI. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves for SUVmax of 3.2 or greater, AFP-L3 19% or greater, and both factors combined for predicting MVI were 0.712 (0.493-0.932), 0.755 (0.563-0.947), and 0.856 (0.721-0.991), respectively. The sensitivity and specificity for predicting MVI were 77.8% and 74.5% for SUVmax of 3.2 or greater, 66.7% and 84.3% for AFP-L3 19% or greater, and 88.9% and 82.4% for the combination.Conclusions
18F-FDG PET-CT and AFP-L3 may be useful for predicting MVI in small HCC, and the combination of the 2 factors provided reliable assessment for selection of suitable hepatic resection and liver transplantation candidates.