Recurrent bladder carcinoma: clinical and prognostic role of 18 F-FDG PET/TC

Pierpaolo Alongi, Federico Caobelli, Roberta Gentile, Alessandro Stefano, Giorgio Russo, Domenico Albano, Sergio Baldari, Maria Carla Gilardi, Massimo Midiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: A small number of studies evaluated the detection rate of lesions from bladder carcinoma (BC) of 18 F-FDG PET/CT in the restaging process. However, the prognostic role of FDG PET/CT still remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the accuracy, the effect upon treatment decision, and the prognostic value of FDG PET/CT in patients with suspected recurrent BC. Materials and Methods: Forty-one patients affected by BC underwent FDG PET/CT for restaging purpose. The diagnostic accuracy of visually interpreted FDG PET/CT was assessed compared to histology (n = 8), other diagnostic imaging modalities (contrast-enhanced CT in 38/41 patients and MRI in 15/41) and clinical follow-up (n = 41). Semiquantitative PET values (SUVmax, SUVmean, SUL, MTV, TLG) were calculated using a graph-based method. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were assessed by using Kaplan-Meier curves. The risk of progression (hazard ratio, HR) was computed by Cox regression analysis by considering all the available variables. Results: PET was considered positive in 21 of 41 patients. Of these, recurrent BC was confirmed in 20 (95 %). Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of FDG PET/CT were 87 %, 94 %, 95 %, 85 %, 90 %. AUC was 0.9 (95 %IC 0.8-1). Bayesian positive and negative likelihood ratios were 14.5 and 0.13, respectively. FDG PET/CT findings modified the therapeutic approach in 16 patients (modified therapy in 10 PET-positive patients, watch-and-wait in six PET-negative patients). PFS was significantly longer in patients with negative scan vs. those with pathological findings (85 % vs. 24 %, p < 0.05; HR = 12.4; p = 0.001). Moreover, an unremarkable study was associated with a longer OS (88 % vs. 47 % after 2 years and 87 % vs. 25 % after 3 years, respectively, p < 0.05). Standardized uptake value (SUV)max > 6 and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) > 8.5 were recognized as the most accurate thresholds to predict PFS (2-year PFS 62 % for SUVmax < 6 vs. 15 % for SUVmax > 6, p = 0.018; 2-year PFS 66 % for TLG < 8.5 vs. 18 % for TLG > 8.5, p = 0.09). Conclusion: A very good diagnostic performance for FDG PET/CT was confirmed in patients with suspected recurrent BC. FDG PET/CT allowed for a change in treatment decision in about 40 % of cases and showed an important prognostic value in assessing PFS and OS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Aug 26 2016


  • 18 F-FDG-PET/CT
  • Bladder cancer
  • Clinical role
  • Prognostic role
  • Restaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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