Background: The present study aimed to evaluate the added value of contrast-enhanced computed tomography (ceCT) in comparison to standard, non-enhanced CT in the context of a combined positron emission tomography (PET)/CT examination by means of a tumor-, site-, and clinical question-based approach. Methods: Analysis was performed in 202 patients undergoing PET/CT consisting of a multiphase CT protocol followed by a whole-body PET. The Cochran Q test was performed, followed by a multiple comparisons correction (McNemar test and Bonferroni adjustment), to compare standard and contrast-enhanced PET (cePET/CT). Histopathology or clinical-radiologic follow-up greater than 1 year was used as a reference. Results: cePET/CT showed significantly different results with respect to standard PET/CT in head and neck and gastrointestinal cancer (P∈=∈0.02 and 0.0002, respectively), in the evaluation of lesions located in the abdomen (P∈=∈0.009), and in the context of disease restaging (P∈=∈0.003). In all these clinical scenarios, adding ceCT resulted in a distinct benefit, by yielding a higher percentage of change in patient management. Conclusion: These data strongly underline the importance of strictly selecting patients for the combined exam. In particular, patient selection should not be driven solely by mere tumor classification, but should also account for the clinical question and the anatomical location of the neoplastic disease, which can significantly impact patient management.
- <sup>18</sup> [F] fluorodeoxyglucose
- Contrast-enhanced PET/CT
- Gastrointestinal cancer
- Head and neck cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology