ObjectiveModern PET/CT scanners have significantly improved detectors and fast time-of-flight (TOF) performance and this may improve clinical performance. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of a current generation TOF PET/CT scanner on standardized uptake values (SUV), lesion-background contrast and characterization of the adrenal glands in patients with suspected lung cancer, in comparison with literature data and commonly used SUV cut-off levels.MethodsWe included 149 adrenal glands from 88 patients with suspected lung cancer, who underwent 18F-FDG PET/CT. We measured the SUVmax in the adrenal gland and compared this with liver SUVmean to calculate the adrenal-to-liver ratio (AL ratio). Results were compared with literature derived with older scanners, with SUVmax values of 1.0 and 1.8 for normal glands [1, 2]. Final diagnosis was based on histological proof or follow-up imaging. We proposed cut-off values for optimal separation of benign from malignant glands.ResultsIn 127 benign and 22 malignant adrenal glands, SUVmax values were 2.3 ± 0.7 (mean ± SD) and 7.8 ± 3.2 respectively (p < 0.01). Corresponding AL ratios were 1.0 ± 0.3 and 3.5 ± 1.4 respectively (p < 0.01). With a SUVmax cut-off value of 3.7, 96 % sensitivity and 96 % specificity was reached. An AL ratio cut-off value of 1.8 resulted in 91 % sensitivity and 97 % specificity. The ability of both SUVmax and AL ratio to separate benign from malignant glands was similar (AUC 0.989 vs. 0.993, p = 0.22).ConclusionsCompared with literature based on the previous generation of PET scanners, current generation TOF 18F-FDG PET/CT imaging provides higher SUVs for benign adrenal glands, while it maintains a highly accurate distinction between benign and malignant glands. Clinical implementation of current generation TOF PET/CT requires not only the use of higher cut-off levels but also visual adaptation by PET readers.
- Lung cancer
- Adrenal glands