Prognostic significance of fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography-derived metabolic parameters in surgically resected clinical-N0 nonsmall cell lung cancer

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Abstract

Objective

Our aim was to assess the significance of metabolic positron emission tomography (PET) parameters for the prediction of occult mediastinal lymph node metastasis (OLM) and recurrence in patients with clinical-N0 nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after surgical resection and lymph node dissection.

Materials and methods

We evaluated 98 patients with NSCLC [52 adenocarcinoma (ADC), 46 squamous cell carcinoma (SQCC)] who had undergone initial/preoperative fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT). Eligibility criteria for participation were clinically staged as N0 and no FDG uptake in mediastinal lymph nodes on preoperative PET/CT. Clinicopathological characteristics and the diagnosis of recurrence were obtained by reviewing the hospital records. Metabolic parameters [maximum standardized uptake value, mean standardized uptake value, metabolic tumor volume (MTV), total lesion glycolysis] were determined on 18F-FDG PET/CT images. The association of metabolic parameters with OLM and recurrence was assessed.

Results

OLM was found in 26 (26.53%) patients. T-stage, central location, and lymphovascular invasion were associated with OLM (respectively, P=0.007, 0.011, <0.001). None of the metabolic parameters was associated with OLM. Metabolic parameters of the tumor were significantly higher in patients with recurrence when the cohort was evaluated as a whole (P=0.002, 0.005, 0.016, and 0.004, respectively). In particular, there was a significant association between recurrence and tumor size, grade, stage, MTV (P<0.001), and TLG (P<0.001) in ADC. This association was not found in SQCC. Multivariate analysis showed that MTV was an independent prognostic factor for recurrence and associated with disease-free survival.

Conclusion

Metabolic parameters of the primary tumor on preoperative 18F-FDG PET/CT could not predict OLM in patients with clinical-N0 NSCLC. MTV was an independent risk factor for recurrence in ADC, but not in SQCC.

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