Evaluation of utility of fluorine-18 fludeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography/CT (PET/CT) for restaging patients with primary malignant germ cell tumours (GCTs).
Data of 92 patients (age, 31.94 ± 10.1 years; male/female, 86/6) with histopathologically confirmed malignant GCTs (gonadal, 88; mediastinal, 4; seminomatous, 47 and non-seminomatous, 45) who underwent 18F-FDG PET/CT for restaging (suspected recurrence/post-therapy evaluation) were retrospectively analysed. Two experienced nuclear medicine physicians reviewed the PET/CT images in consensus, qualitatively and semi-quantitatively [maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax)]. Histopathology (if available) and clinical/imaging/biochemical follow-up (minimum of 6 months) were employed as the reference standard.
18F-FDG PET/CT was interpreted as positive in 59 and negative in 33 patients. Local disease was seen in 5, nodal disease in 50 and distant metastasis in 22 patients. PET/CT was true positive in 49, false positive in 10, true negative in 30 and false negative in 3 patients. 18F-FDG PET/CT showed sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy of 94.2%, 75.0%, 83.0%, 90.9% and 85.8% overall; 90.0%, 74.0%, 72.0%, 90.9% and 80.8% in seminomatous GCT; and 96.8%, 76.9%, 91.1%, 90.9% and 91.1% in non-seminomatous GCT, respectively. Difference in PET/CT accuracy for seminomatous and non-seminomatous GCTs was not significant (p = 0.263). PET/CT demonstrated disease in 13 patients with negative/equivocal conventional imaging findings and in 9 patients with normal tumour markers. No site- or histology-based difference was seen in SUVmax.
18F-FDG PET/CT demonstrates high diagnostic accuracy for restaging patients with malignant GCTs. It has comparable diagnostic performance in both seminomatous and non-seminomatous malignant GCTs.
Advances in knowledge:
The present article demonstrates high diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG PET/CT for restaging both seminomatous and non-seminomatous malignant GCTs in a large patient population.