Detection of recurrent and metastatic colorectal cancer: Comparison of positron emission tomography and computed tomography

Olagunju A. Ogunbiyi, Fidelma L. Flanagan, Farrokh Dehdashti, Barry A. Siegel, Diane D. Trask, Elisa H. Birnbaum, James W. Fleshman, Thomas E. Read, Gordon W. Philpott, Ira J. Kodner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


Background: This study evaluates the clinical value of positron emission tomography (PET) with 2-[F-18] fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) as compared to computed tomography (CT) in patients with suspected recurrent or metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). Methods: A retrospective review of the records of 58 patients who had FDG-PET for evaluation of recurrent or advanced primary CRC was performed. FDG-PET results were compared with those of CT and correlated with operative and histopathologic findings, or with clinical course and autopsy reports. Results: Recurrent or advanced primary CRC was diagnosed in 40 and 11 patients, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of FDG-PET were 91% and 100% for detecting local pelvic recurrence, and 95% and 100% for hepatic metastases. These values were superior to CT, which had sensitivity and specificity of 52% and 80% for detecting pelvic recurrence, and 74% and 85% for hepatic metastases. FDG-PET correctly identified pelvic recurrence in 19 of 21 patients; CT was negative in 6 of these patients and equivocal in 4. FDG-PET was superior to CT in detecting multiple hepatic lesions and influenced clinical management in 10 of 23 (43%) patients. Conclusion: FDG-PET is more sensitive than CT in the clinical assessment of patients with recurrent or metastatic CRC, and provides an accurate means of selecting appropriate treatment for these patients. Published by Lippincott-Raven Publishers

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-620
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1997


  • Cancer
  • Colorectal
  • PET
  • Recurrence


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