Why nearly all PET of abdominal and pelvic cancers will be performed as PET/CT.

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Abstract

Clinical experience at Johns Hopkins and published literature regarding PET/CT applications in the abdomen and pelvis are reviewed, and the strengths and limitations of this evolving technology are summarized. More than 2,700 whole-body PET/CT scans including the abdomen and pelvis were performed for clinical indications by our nuclear medicine service from June 2001 through September 2003. Indications for these studies are reviewed, and our clinical impressions of diagnostic advantages and limitations of PET/CT are reported. Of the >2,700 whole-body PET/CT scans performed at our institution, >90% were for known or suspected cancers. Primary abdominopelvic indications were second in frequency to thoracic indications. In addition, a comprehensive literature search was performed, and key articles related to PET/CT in the abdomen and pelvis were identified, reviewed, and summarized. Under the search term "PET/CT," 142 articles were identified under the National Library of Medicine Pub Med database, and a number of general findings are summarized. CONCLUSION: PET/CT allows for the accurate localization of foci of radiotracer uptake and their separation from normal structures. In our experience, the method is quantitatively accurate, rapid, and easily implemented, including contrast studies, in clinical practice in a wide range of abdominopelvic indications. Although artifacts can occur from a variety of causes, close attention to protocol details and patient immobilization reduces their frequency. Where systematically studied, PET/CT improves diagnostic accuracy compared with PET alone. It is anticipated that PET/CT will increasingly become the routine and preferred procedure for abdominopelvic evaluations with PET imaging. It has already become the preferred method at our center.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82S-95S
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
Volume45 Suppl 1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

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