Added diagnostic value of respiratory-gated 4D 18F–FDG PET/CT in the detection of liver lesions: a multicenter study

Cinzia Crivellaro, Elena de Ponti, Federica Elisei, Sabrina Morzenti, Maria Picchio, Valentino Bettinardi, Annibale Versari, Federica Fioroni, Miroslaw Dziuk, Konrad Tkaczewski, Renée Ahond-Vionnet, Guillaume Nodari, Sergio Todde, Claudio Landoni, Luca Guerra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the added diagnostic value of respiratory-gated 4D18F–FDG PET/CT in liver lesion detection and characterization in a European multicenter retrospective study. Methods: Fifty-six oncological patients (29 males and 27 females, mean age, 61.2 ± 11.2 years) from five European centers, submitted to standard 3D–PET/CT and liver 4D–PET/CT were retrospectively evaluated. Based on visual analysis, liver PET/CT findings were scored as positive, negative, or equivocal both in 3D and 4D PET/CT. The impact of 4D–PET/CT on the confidence in classifying liver lesions was assessed. PET/CT findings were compared to histology and clinical follow-up as standard reference and diagnostic accuracy was calculated for both techniques. At semi-quantitative analysis, SUVmax was calculated for each detected lesion in 3D and 4D–PET/CT. Results: Overall, 72 liver lesions were considered for the analysis. Based on visual analysis in 3D–PET/CT, 32/72 (44.4%) lesions were considered positive, 21/72 (29.2%) negative, and 19/72 (26.4%) equivocal, while in 4D–PET/CT 48/72 (66.7%) lesions were defined positive, 23/72 (31.9%) negative, and 1/72 (1.4%) equivocal. 4D–PET/CT findings increased the confidence in lesion definition in 37/72 lesions (51.4%). Considering 3D equivocal lesions as positive, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 88.9, 70.0, and 83.1%, respectively, while the same figures were 67.7, 90.0, and 73.8% if 3D equivocal findings were included as negative. 4D–PET/CT sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 97.8, 90.0, and 95.4%, respectively, considering equivocal lesions as positive and 95.6, 90.0, and 93.8% considering equivocal lesions as negative. The SUVmax of the liver lesions in 4D–PET (mean ± SD, 6.9 ± 3.2) was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than SUVmax in 3D–PET (mean ± SD, 5.2 ± 2.3). Conclusions: Respiratory-gated PET/CT technique is a valuable clinical tool in diagnosing liver lesions, reducing 3D undetermined findings, improving diagnostic accuracy, and confidence in reporting. 4D–PET/CT also improved the quantification of SUVmax of liver lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Aug 19 2017


  • Computed tomography
  • Liver lesion detection/characterization
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Respiratory gating
  • SUV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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