Introduction/Background*The identification of factors responsible for false negative (FN) rate at 18F- Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) in para-aortic (PA) lymph nodes in the presurgical staging of patients with locally advanced cervical cancer (LACC) is challenging. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of PET/CT technology.
Methodology A total of 240 consecutive patients with LACC (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, FIGO, stage IB2-IVA) and negative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and/or Computed Tomography (CT) and negative 18F-FDG PET/CT in the PA region, undergoing laparoscopic PA lymphadenectomy before chemoradiotherapy were included. The FN rate in patients studied with Time of flight (TOF) PET/CT (TOF PET) or non-Time of flight PET/CT (no-TOF PET) technology was retrospectively compared.
Result(s)*Patients presented with FIGO stage IB (n = 78), stage IIA-B (n = 134), stage III (n = 18) and stage IVa (n = 10), squamous cell carcinoma (n = 191) and adenocarcinoma (n = 49). 141/240 patients were evaluated with no-TOF PET/CT and 99/240 with TOF PET/CT. Twenty-two patients (9%) had PA nodal involvement at histological analysis and considered PET/CT FN findings. The FN rate was 8.5% for no-TOF PET and 10% for TOF PET subgroup respectively (p = 0.98). Ninety patients (38%) presented with pelvic node uptakes at PET/CT. The FN rate in the PA region was 18% (16/90) and 4% (6/150) in patients with and without pelvic node involvement at PET/CT respectively (19 vs 3% for no-TOF PET and 17 vs 5% for TOF PET subgroup).
Conclusion*In LACC, FN rate in PA lymph nodes detection is a clinical issue even for modern PET/CT, especially in patients with pelvic uptake. Surgical lymphadenectomy should be performed in case of negative PET/CT at PA level in these patients, while it could be discussed in the absence of pelvic uptake.
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