European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging vol:32 issue:12 pages:1412-1417
PURPOSE: The presence of lymph node involvement (N) and distant metastasis (M) in patients with invasive bladder carcinoma is a major determinant of survival and, therefore, a pivotal element in the therapeutic management. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the use of( 18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) in this indication. METHODS: Whole-body FDG-PET and computed tomography (CT) were performed in 55 patients with non-metastatic invasive bladder cancer for preoperative staging. Correlative imaging of PET with CT was performed, leading to a PET(CT) result. The imaging results were compared with the gold standard, consisting of histopathology (lymphadenectomy, guided biopsy) or clinical follow-up for 12 months, and related to overall survival using the Kaplan-Meier method. RESULTS: The gold standard was available in 40 patients and indicated NM-positive disease in 15 patients (12 N lesions, 8 M lesions), and NM-negative disease in 25 patients. For the diagnosis of NM-positive disease, the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of PET(CT) were 60%, 88% and 78%, respectively. Diagnostic discordances between PET(CT) and CT alone were found in 9/40 patients, among whom PET was correct in six (15%): three with true-positive and one with true-negative distant metastases, and two with true-negative lymph nodes. Median survival time of patients in whom PET(CT) indicated NM-positive disease was 13.5 months, compared with 32.0 months in the patients with a NM-negative PET(CT) (p=0.003). CONCLUSION: Addition of metabolism-based information provided by FDG-PET to CT in the preoperative staging of invasive bladder carcinoma yields a high diagnostic and prognostic accuracy.