BACKGROUND. Increasing evidence has documented the value of positron emission tomography (PET) in oncology, but only limited data are available comparing PET findings with the pathologic status of regional lymph nodes in patients with cervical carcinoma. The objective of this study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of PET in detecting lymph node metastasis in women with early-stage cervical carcinoma. METHODS. The authors performed a retrospective review of all patients with Stage IA-IIA cervical carcinoma who underwent PET before surgery from 1999 to 2004. The status of the regional lymph nodes was correlated with lymph node pathology. RESULTS. Fifty-nine patients were identified. Pelvic lymph node metastases were present in 32% of the patients and were detected by PET with a sensitivity of 53%, a specificity of 90%, a positive predictive value (PPV) of 71%, and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 80%. Paraaortic lymph node disease was present in 9% of patients and was detected by PET with a sensitivity of 25%, a specificity 98%, a PPV of 50%, and an NPV of 93%. The mean size of the tumor deposits was larger in the PET-positive pelvic nodes (15.2 mm; range, 2-35 mm) than in the PET-negative lymph nodes (7.3 mm; range, 0.3-20 mm; P = 0.002). Computed tomography (CT) scans were obtained before surgery in 42 patients. The combined sensitivity of PET and CT in these patients was 75%. PET alone detected 9 (36%) of the positive lymph node groups, whereas CT alone detected 3 (12%) of the positive lymph node groups. Neither PET nor CT detected the positive lymph node groups in 8 patients (32%). CONCLUSIONS. Pathologic validation of PET imaging demonstrated a low sensitivity and a high specificity for PET in patients with early-stage cervical carcinoma.
- Cervical carcinoma
- Radical hysterectomy
- [F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography