Comparison of characteristics of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose and 18F-fluorothymidine PET during staging of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

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The aim of this study was to compare the characteristics derived from fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) and fluorine-18 fluorothymidine (18F-FLT) PET quantitatively and to assess their capacities during staging of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

Materials and methods

Thirty-six patients with a diagnosis of ESCC who underwent both 18F-FDG and 18F-FLT PET were included in this study. Different image-derived indices including the standardized uptake value (SUV), gross tumor length, and texture features were determined. Considering histopathologic examination as the gold standard, the performance of the extracted indices during staging of ESCC was assessed using the Kruskal–Wallis test and the Mann–Whitney test.


Considering the 18F-FDG PET images, the SUVmax, SUVmean, length (LEN), and eccentricity (EC) were significant during staging of American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and TNM (P<0.01), whereas for the 18F-FLT image, the SUVmax, LEN, and EC were significant during staging of AJCC and TNM (P<0.01). The characteristics of 18F-FDG and 18F-FLT PET for the classification of ESCC stage were significantly different.


18F-FDG image-derived characteristics including image textural features, SUV, and shape feature allow for better stratification of AJCC and TNM than 18F-FLT PET in ESCC patients.

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