FDG-PET in the initial staging of squamous cell oesophageal carcinoma

I Buchmann, T Hansen, C Brochhausen, W Kneist, K Oberholzer, T Junginger, M Schreckenberger, P Bartenstein


UNLABELLED: Squamous cell oesophageal carcinoma is the most common carcinoma of the oesophagus worldwide. The tumour stage as most important prognostic factor determines the clinical management.

AIM: of this study was to evaluate the value of FDG-PET 1. in imaging the primary tumour and 2. in N- and M-staging of squamous cell oesophageal carcinoma.

PATIENTS, METHODS: In 20 patients with histological proven squamous cell carcinoma of the upper and middle oesophagus, FDG-PET was performed in standard technique prior to therapy. FDG uptake in the primary was determined by calculation of the SUVmax. NM-staging due to PET findings was performed as designated by the AJCC/UICC group classification and was compared with pathological and clinically based staging. Sensitivities, specificities and accuracies were calculated.

RESULTS: In 19 of 20 patients, primary squamous cell oesopohageal carcinoma was detected by FDG-PET findings with a maximum SUV of 12.5 (mean) +/- 5.1 (median 11.5; range 4.8-23.8). One carcinoma in situ was missed. The sensitivity of FDG-PET in imaging the primary tumour was 96%. The sensitivities, specificities and accuracies were 20%, 100%, 58% for N-staging, and 60%, 86% and 93% for M-staging. PET findings caused changes of therapy in 5% (1 patient).

CONCLUSIONS: FDG-PET was excellent in imaging the primary of squamous cell oesophageal carcinoma in stage T1-T4 and was efficient in M-staging. The low sensitivity in N-staging is of inferior clinical importance. The efficacy of FDG-PET seems to be not significantly be influenced by the histological subtype of oesophageal carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)235-41
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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