Staging recurrent metastatic colorectal carcinoma with PET

Dominique Delbeke, Joäo V. Vitola, Martin P. Sandier, Ronald C. Arildsen, Thomas A. Powers, J. Kelly Wright, William C. Chapman, C. Wright Pinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

294 Scopus citations


Accurate detection of recurrent colorectal carcinoma remains a diagnostic challenge. The purposes of this study were to assess the accuracy of 18FDG-PET in patients with recurrent colorectal carcinoma in detecting liver metastases compared with computed tomography (CT) and CT portography, detecting extrahepatic metastases compared with CT and evaluating the impact on patient management. Methods: Fifty-two patients previously treated for colorectal carcinoma presented on 61 occasions with suspected recurrence and underwent 18FDG-PET of the entire body. PET, CT and CT portography images were analyzed visually. The final diagnosis was obtained by pathology (n = 44) or clinical and radiological follow-up (n = 17). The impact on management was reviewed retrospectively. Results: A total of 166 suspicious lesions were identified. Of the 127 intrahepatic lesions, 104 were malignant, and of the 39 extrahepatic lesions, 34 were malignant. Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose imaging was more accurate (92%) than CT and CT portography (78% and 80%, respectively) in detecting liver metastases and more accurate than CT for extrahepatic metastases (92% and 71%, respectively). Fluorine-18- fluorodeoxyglucose detected unsuspected metastases in 17 patients and altered surgical management in 28% of patients. Conclusion: These data identify that 18FDG-PET is the most accurate noninvasive method for staging patients with recurrent metastatic colorectal carcinoma and plays an important role in management decisions in this setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1196-1201
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 20 1997


  • Computed tomography
  • Fluorine-18-FDG
  • Neoplasms
  • Portography


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