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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2015 December;59(4):462-8


language: English

Reproducibility of FDG PET based metabolic tumor volume measurements and of their FDG distribution within

Kruse V. 1, Mees G. 2, Maes A. 3, D’asseler Y. 2, Borms M. 4, Cocquyt V. 1, Van De Wiele C. 2

1 Divison of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal medicine, University Hospital Ghent, Belgium; 2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Ghent, Ghent, Belgium; 3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, AZ Groeninge, Kortrijk, Belgium; 4 Department of Medical Oncology, AZ Groeninge, Kortrijk, Belgium


AIM: The aim of this study was to report on the reproducibility of F-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET MTV (metabolic tumor volume) 40% and MTV2.5, as well as on the intratumor reproducibility in patients, predominantly suffering from lung cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
METHODS: Nineteen patients (14 men) who underwent a baseline staging FDG PET-CT examination and a second radiotherapy treatment planning FDG PET-CT examination prior to treatment initiation within 17 days (range: 7-37 days) from each other were included. Bland-Altman analysis was performed on MTV40% and MTVSUV2.5 values obtained of the primary tumor. For voxelwise comparison of the FDG distribution within tumors the transformation matrices, defined on the CT images, were applied to the corresponding FDG images. Accordingly, the MTV40% of the primary tumor volume was defined and copied on the second FDG image. The coordinates and SUV values of each pixel in the corresponding volumes in both FDG images were used for paired comparison.
RESULTS: The standard deviation of the percentage spread around the means of both measurements was respectively 32.5% for MTVSUV2.5 versus 18.8% for MTV40%. Using a cut-off value of 1.96 SD, differences exceeding 64% in MTVSUV2.5 and 37% in MTV40% may be considered to be clinically relevant. Correlation coefficients derived from the voxelwise paired comparison of SUV values within MTV40% volumes delineated on scan 1 and scan 2 ranged from 0.67 to 0.96 (mean: 0.83). Bland-Altman plots demonstrated a low reproducibility for low SUV values and a high(er) reproducibility for high SUV values (inverted triangular shape) in all tumor volumes under study.
CONCLUSION: The reproducibility of MTV40% proved better than that of MTVSUV2.5 with a cut-off of 37% (increase or decrease) in MTV allowing to define clinically significant changes. Furthermore, intratumoral voxelwise FDG distribution did not change significantly in most of the patients during the time interval studied.

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