SUVmax of 18 F-FDG PET/CT in the differential diagnosis of benign and malignant thyroid nodules according to tumor volume

Tae Heon Kim; Yong Bae Ji; Chang Myeon Song; Ji Young Kim; Yun Young Choi; Jeong Seon Park; Kyung Tae
July 2015
World Journal of Surgical Oncology;Jul2015, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) measured on fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18 F-FDG PET/CT) could be used as the primary means of differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules when tumor volume is assessed. Methods: We studied 192 patients who underwent preoperative 18F-FDG PET/CT followed by thyroidectomy. We evaluated the correlation between the volume of thyroid nodules, 18F-FDG uptake on visual analysis, and the mean SUVmax measured on 18F-FDG PET/CT. Results: When stratified by tumor volume, the mean SUVmax was higher in malignant than in benign nodules in nodules ≥1cm³ (p < 0.001). However, it did not differ between benign and malignant nodules smaller than 1 cm³. At a cut-off value of SUVmax of 6, the respective sensitivities of 18 F-FDG PET/CT, ultrasonography, and fine needle aspiration cytology were 60.8, 96.4, and 99.1 %, and the respective specificities were 95.9, 98.2, and 96.8 %. Conclusions: 18F-FDG PET/CT is limited as a primary modality in the differential diagnosis of benign and malignant thyroid nodules because of its low sensitivity.


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