Although delayed-time-point imaging is expected to improve the results of [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), how examinees will benefit from dual-time-point imaging versus initial-time-point imaging alone, remains unclear. This study investigated the role of delayed-time-point imaging in improving the results of abdominal and pelvic cancer screening using FDG-PET/CT.
This retrospective review included 3131 screening results (average subject age: 55.5 years, range: 40–88 years). First, 2 nuclear medicine physicians tentatively evaluated whole-body initial-time-point PET/CT scans. Subsequently, delayed-time-point imaging of the abdomen and pelvis was performed approximately 150 min after FDG injection, followed by re-evaluation for necessary changes. All changed records were retrospectively reviewed and classified as either lesions that were found in initial-time-point images but were changed into negative by adding delayed scan or newly detected findings of suspected malignancy on delayed-time-point images; lesions suspected to be malignant were subjected to further pathologic review. Diagnostic performance according to sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) were calculated and compared between initial-time-point and dual-time-point imaging.
Fifty-four records were changed after addition of the delayed-time-point imaging. Of the 105 suspected malignancies on initial-time-point images, 10 were changed into negative following the delayed scan. In addition, 44 lesions were newly detected as suspected malignancies on delayed-time-point images. Thirty-six lesions were proven to be pathologically malignant. Of these, 26 were detected on initial-time-point images, and 8 lesions (gastrointestinal adenocarcinoma, 6; prostate adenocarcinoma, 2) were observed on delayed-time-point images. The sensitivity of dual-time-point imaging (58.6% [34/58]) was significantly higher than that of initial-time-point imaging only (44.8% [26/58]) (P = .005); however, specificity and accuracy of dual-time-point imaging (96.6% [2968/3073] and 95.9% [3002/3131], respectively) were significantly lower than those of initial-time-point imaging only (97.4% [2994/3073] and 96.5% [3020/3131], respectively) (P < .0001 and P = .013, respectively). There were no significant differences in PPV (initial-time-point imaging: 24.8% [26/105], dual-time-point imaging: 24.5% [34/139]) and NPV (98.9% [2994/3026] and 99.2% [2968/3073], respectively).
The inclusion of delayed PET/CT in screening examinations facilitated the detection of pathologically malignant lesions, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract, while also detecting benign and false-negative lesions.