Diagnostic performance of preoperative [18F]FDG-PET/CT for lymph node staging in vulvar cancer: a large single-centre study

Vittoria Rufini, Giorgia Garganese, Gian Franco Zannoni, Giovanni Scambia, Alessandro Giordano, Tina Pasciuto, Simona Maria Fragomeni, Benedetta Gui, Anita Florit, Frediano Inzani, Francesco P. Ieria

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Abstract

Purpose: This retrospective study aimed to assess the diagnostic performance of preoperative [18F]FDG-PET/CT in predicting the groin and pelvic lymph node (LN) status in a large single-centre series of vulvar cancer patients. Methods: Between January 2013 and October 2018, among all consecutive women with proven vulvar cancer submitted to [18F]FDG-PET/CT, 160 patients were included. LNs were analysed by two qualitative methods assessing PET information (defined as visual assessment) and a combination of PET and low-dose CT information (defined as overall assessment), respectively, as well as semi-quantitative analysis (LN-SUVmax). Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV) in predicting the groin and pelvic LN status were calculated in the overall study population; a subset analysis of groin parameters in clinically/ultrasonography negative patients was also performed. Histopathology was the reference standard. Results: All patients underwent vulvar and inguinofemoral LN surgery, and 35 pelvic LN surgery. Overall, 338 LN sites (296 groins and 42 pelvic sites) were histologically examined with 30.4% prevalence of metastatic groins and 28.6% for metastatic pelvic sites. In the overall study population, sensitivity (95% confidence interval, CI), specificity (95% CI), accuracy (95% CI), PPV (95% CI) and NPV (95% CI) at the groin level were 85.6% (78.3–92.8), 65.5% (59.0–72.0), 71.6% (66.5–76.8), 52.0% (44.0–60.1) and 91.2% (86.7–95.8) for visual assessment; 78.9% (70.5–87.3), 78.2% (72.5–83.8), 78.4% (73.7–83.1), 61.2% (52.3–70.1) and 89.4% (85.0–93.9) for overall assessment; and 73.3% (64.2–82.5), 85.0% (80.1–89.8), 81.4% (77.0–85.8), 68.0% (58.8–77.3) and 87.9% (83.4–92.5) for semi-quantitative analysis (SUVmax cut-off value 1.89 achieved by ROC analysis). Similar results were observed in the pelvis-based analysis. Conclusion: In this large single-centre series of vulvar cancer patients, [18F]FDG-PET/CT showed good values of sensitivity and NPV in discriminating metastatic from non-metastatic LNs. In routine clinical practice, qualitative analysis is a reliable interpretative criterion making unnecessary commonly used semi-quantitative methods such as SUVmax.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • 18
  • F]FDG-PET/CT
  • Lymph node staging
  • Personalized medicine
  • Vulvar cancer
  • [

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