To investigate the performance of fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) and PET/computed tomography (CT) in the diagnosis, staging, restaging, and recurrence surveillance of bone sarcoma by systematically reviewing and meta-analyzing the published literature.
To retrieve eligible studies, we searched the MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Central library databases using combinations of following Keywords: “positron emission tomography” or “PET,” and “bone tumor” or “bone sarcoma” or “sarcoma.” Bibliographies from relevant articles were also screened manually. Data were extracted and the pooled sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR), on an examination-based or lesion-based level, were calculated to appraise the diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG PET and PET/CT. All statistical analyses were performed using Meta-Disc 1.4.
Forty-two trials were eligible. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of PET/CT to differentiate primary bone sarcomas from benign lesions were 96% (95% confidence interval [CI], 93–98) and 79% (95% CI, 63–90), respectively. For detecting recurrence, the pooled results on an examination-based level were sensitivity 92% (95% CI, 85–97), specificity 93% (95% CI, 88–96), positive likelihood ratio (PLR) 10.26 (95% CI, 5.99–17.60), and negative likelihood ratio (NLR) 0.11 (95% CI, 0.05–0.22). For detecting distant metastasis, the pooled results on a lesion-based level were sensitivity 90% (95% CI, 86–93), specificity 85% (95% CI, 81–87), PLR 5.16 (95% CI, 2.37–11.25), and NLR 0.15 (95% CI, 0.11–0.20). The accuracies of PET/CT for detecting local recurrence, lung metastasis, and bone metastasis were satisfactory. Pooled outcome estimates of 18F-FDG PET were less complete compared with those of PET/CT.
18F-FDG PET and PET/CT showed a high sensitivity for diagnosing primary bone sarcoma. Moreover, PET/CT demonstrated excellent accuracy for the staging, restaging, and recurrence surveillance of bone sarcoma. However, to avoid misdiagnosis, pathological examination or long-term follow-up should be carried out for 18F-FDG-avid lesions in patients with suspected bone sarcoma.