Assessment of nodal involvement in non-small-cell lung cancer with : mediastinal blood pool cut-off has the highest sensitivity and tumour SUVmax/2 has the highest specificity18: mediastinal blood pool cut-off has the highest sensitivity and tumour SUVmax/2 has the highest specificityF-FDG-PET/CT: mediastinal blood pool cut-off has the highest sensitivity and tumour SUVmax/2 has the highest specificity

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Abstract

Objectives

Lymph node involvement in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a major factor in determining management and prognosis. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose-PET/computed tomography (CT) for the assessment of nodal involvement in patients with NSCLC.

Patients and methods

In this retrospective study, we included 61 patients with suspected or confirmed resectable NSCLC over a 2-year period from April 2013 to April 2015. 221 nodes with pathological staging from surgery or endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration were assessed using a nodal station-based analysis with original clinical reports and three different cut-offs: mediastinal blood pool (MBP), liver background and tumour standardized uptake value maximal (SUVmax)/2.

Results

Using nodal station-based analysis for activity more than tumour SUVmax/2, the sensitivity was 45%, the specificity was 89% and the negative predictive value (NPV) was 87%. For activity more than MBP, the sensitivity was 93%, the specificity was 72% and NPV was 98%. For activity more than liver background, the sensitivity was 83%, the specificity was 84% and NPV was 96%. Using a nodal staging-based analysis for accuracy at detecting N2/3 disease, for activity more than tumour SUVmax/2, the sensitivity was 59%, the specificity was 85% and NPV was 80%. For activity more than MBP, the sensitivity was 95%, the specificity was 61% and NPV was 96%. For activity more than liver background, the sensitivity was 86%, the specificity was 81% and NPV was 92%. Receiver-operating characteristic analysis showed the optimal nodal SUVmax to be more than 6.4 with a sensitivity of 45% and a specificity of 95%, with an area under the curve of 0.85.

Conclusion

Activity more than MBP was the most sensitive cut-off with the highest sensitivity and NPV. Activity more than primary tumour SUVmax/2 was the most specific cut-off. Nodal SUVmax more than 6.4 has a high specificity of 95%.

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