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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The role of PET/CT in detection of gastric cancer recurrence

Sung Hoon Sim1, Yu Jung Kim14, Do-Youn Oh14*, Se-Hoon Lee14, Dong-Wan Kim14, Won Jun Kang24, Seock-Ah Im14, Tae-You Kim14, Woo Ho Kim34, Dae Seog Heo14 and Yung-Jue Bang14

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

2 Department of Nuclear medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

3 Department of Pathology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

4 Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

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BMC Cancer 2009, 9:73  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-73

Published: 1 March 2009

Abstract

Background

In the course of surveillance of gastric cancer recurrence after curative resection, contrast CT scan is used in general. However, new findings from CT scan are not always confirmatory for the recurrence. In this case, we usually use short-term follow up strategy or therapeutic intervention with clinical decision. Recently, the use of fusion Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) is increasing. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and usefulness of PET/CT for detecting recurrence of gastric cancer after curative resection.

Methods

Fifty two patients who received curative resection of gastric cancer and had undergone PET/CT and contrast CT for surveillance of recurrence until Dec 2006 in Seoul National University Hospital were analyzed retrospectively. Recurrence of gastric cancer was validated by histologic confirmation (n = 17) or serial contrast CT follow up with at least 5 month interval (n = 35). McNemar's test and Fisher's exact test were used to evaluate sensitivity and specificity of PET/CT and contrast CT.

Results

Of 52 patients, 38 patients were confirmed as recurrence. The sensitivity was 68.4% (26/38) for PET/CT and 89.4% (34/38) for contrast CT (p = 0.057). The specificity was 71.4% (10/14) and 64.2% (9/14), respectively (p = 1.0). In terms of the recurred sites, the sensitivity and specificity of PET/CT were similar to those of contrast CT in all sites except peritoneum. Contrast CT was more sensitive than PET/CT (p = 0.039) for detecting peritoneal seeding. Additional PET/CT on contrast CT showed no further increase of positive predictive value regardless of sites. Among 13 patients whose image findings between two methods were discordant and tissue confirmation was difficult, the treatment decision was made in 7 patients based on PET/CT, showing the final diagnostic accuracy of 42.8% (3/7).

Conclusion

PET/CT was as sensitive and specific as contrast CT in detection of recurred gastric cancer except peritoneal seeding. However, additional PET/CT on contrast CT did not increase diagnostic accuracy in detection of recurred gastric cancer. Further studies are warranted to validate the role of PET/CT in detection of gastric cancer recurrence.