Is It Time to Introduce PET/CT in Rectal Cancer Guidelines?

Anna Margherita Maffione, Giampaolo Montesi, Paola Caroli, Patrick M Colletti, Domenico Rubello, Federica Matteucci

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


At the moment, international guidelines for rectal cancer suggest to consider F-FDG PET/CT scan in a few conditions: (1) at disease presentation in case of suspected or proven metastatic synchronous adenocarcinoma with potentially curable M1 disease; (2) in the recurrence workup for serial carcinoembryonic antigen level elevation; (3) in the recurrence workup with metachronous metastases documented by CT, MRI, or biopsy; (4) in case of strong contraindication to IV contrast agent administration; and (5) to evaluate an equivocal finding on a contrast-enhanced CT or MRI. PET/CT is not indicated in the follow-up or surveillance of rectal cancer. On the other hand, an attentive evaluation of the literature shows that PET/CT may also be used in some circumstances with significant levels of diagnostic accuracy. This review article aims to emphasize differences between current international guidelines and scientific literature in the role of PET/CT in rectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-617
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Nuclear Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Adenocarcinoma/diagnostic imaging
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography/standards
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Rectal Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging


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