The aim of this study is to evaluate the imaging characteristics of metastatic and benign (Tubercular) lymph nodes on18 F FDG PET/CT, in patients with co-existent Carcinoma lung and Tuberculosis, and correlation with histo-pathological analysis.
METHOD AND MATERIALS
A retrospective analysis of 25 patients (19 males, 6 females; mean age 62.4+/- 10.08 years) with co-existent Carcinoma lung and Tuberculosis was done. All the subjects underwent F-18 FDG PET/CT scanning and subsequently the mediastinal lymph nodes were biopsied. SUV Max-Tumour, SUV Max-Lymph node and SUV Max-Ratio ( SUV Max Lymph node / SUV Max Tumour ) for each lymph node station on 18F-FDG PET/CT was determined and then each station was classified into one of the three groups based on SUV Max -Tumour (low, medium and high SUV Max -Tumour groups). Diagnostic performance was assessed based on receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, and the optimal cut-off values that would best discriminate metastatic from benign lymph nodes were determined for each method.
A total of 115 lymph node stations with a mean of 4.6 lymph node station per patient and total of 540 lymph nodes with a mean of 21.6 lymph nodes per patient were resected and biopsied. 79 nodes were reported positive for metastasis and 27 nodes were reported as granulomatous. On pre-treatment 18F-FDG PET/CT scan, the mean SUV Max-Tumour of squamous cell carcinoma was significantly higher than that of adenocarcinoma (9.9±3.97 vs. 5.76±3.48, P<0.001). The mean SUV max of malignant lymph nodes was significantly higher than that of tubercular lymph nodes (6.7±0.94 vs. 2.7± 0.84 P<0.001). The mean SUV Max -Ratio in patients with malignant lymph nodes was significantly higher than in those with tubercular lymph nodes (0.91±0.36 vs. 0.41±0.28, P<0.001).
The overall diagnostic accuracy of 18 F FDG PET CT in mediastinal lymph nodal staging in patients with co-existent Tuberculosis and Carcinoma lung carcinoma is 67.4 %, if SUV Max of 2.5 is taken as the cut off criteria, however if SUV Max-Ratio is taken into consideration, the overall diagnostic accuracy increases to 74.8%, thus helping in the accurate staging of patients
Carcinoma lung with co-existing Tuberculosis results in false positive mediastinal lymph nodes and fallacies in preoperative staging.