11C-Acetate can be Used in Place of 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose for Positron Emission Tomography Imaging of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer with Higher Sensitivity for Well-Differentiated Adenocarcinoma

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Although positron emission tomography (PET) using 18F-fluorodeoxy-glucose (FDG) frequently gives false-negative results for slow-growing tumors, 11C-acetate (AC)-PET has been reported to be able to detect them. To determine the usefulness of AC-PET for imaging non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs), the sensitivity and specificity were compared between the AC-PET and FDG-PET with a multicenter study.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 284 pulmonary lesions (227 NSCLCs and 57 benign lesions) were examined using both AC-PET and FDG-PET before surgery at seven Japanese institutes. The AC- or FDG-uptake in each lesion were quantitatively measured using the contrast ratio of the standard uptake value between the lesions and the contralateral lung.


The sensitivity of AC-PET for diagnosing NSCLC was 0.71, which was significantly higher than the value of 0.57 obtained by FDG-PET (p < 0.001). No significant difference in the specificity was seen between AC- and FDG-PET. For the 146 well-differentiated adenocarcinomas, the sensitivity of AC-PET was 0.62, which was significantly higher than the value of 0.37 obtained by FDG-PET (p < 0.001). Of the 51 moderately- or poorly-differentiated adenocarcinomas and 30 nonadenocarcinomas, there was no significant difference of sensitivity between AC- and FDG-PET.


AC-PET could be used in place of FDG-PET for imaging NSCLC, with higher sensitivity for well-differentiated adenocarcinoma compared with FDG-PET.

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