Which is better for predicting pelvic lymph node metastases in patients with cervical cancer: Fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography or a sentinel node biopsy? A retrospective observational study

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Abstract

Systematic pelvic lymph node resection may not be needed for patients with cervical cancer, especially in the early stage, if the pre- or intraoperative diagnosis of lymph node status is correct. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of pelvic lymph node metastasis for fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG PET/CT) and sentinel node biopsy (SNB) of cervical cancer patients.

Forty-eight patients with cervical cancer were imaged with FDG PET/CT before radical hysterectomy and underwent an SNB followed by systematic pelvic lymph node dissection. The diagnostic accuracy for predicting pelvic node metastases for FDG PET/CT and SNB compared with the ultimate histologic status was analyzed.

Among 96 hemi-pelvises (HPs) in 48 patients, pelvic lymph node metastases were obtained in 12 HPs. The sensitivity of pelvic node metastases for FDG PET/CT and SNB was 8.3% and 75.0%, respectively. The specificity for FDG PET/CT and SNB was 97.6% and 94.0%, respectively. The negative predictive value for FDG-PET/CT and SNB was 88.2% and 100%, respectively.

SNB is more suitable for detecting pelvic node metastases than FDG PET/CT. The omission of systematic pelvic lymphadenectomy should be considered based on the findings of SNB, not FDG PET/CT.

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