This prospective observational study (NCT02424864) included 37 newly diagnosed oesophageal cancer patients. Diagnostic PET/CT was reconstructed in 3D and motion-compensated PET/CT. MTVs of the primary tumour were calculated using an automated region-growing algorithm with SUV thresholds of 2.5 (MTV2.5) and ≥ 50% of SUVmax (MTV50%). Blinded for reconstruction method, a nuclear medicine physician assessed all lymph nodes showing 18F‑fluorodeoxyglucose uptake for their degree of suspicion.
SUVmax of the primary oesophageal tumour and lymph nodes was comparable on 3D and motion-compensated PET/CT. The use of motion-compensated PET/CT did not improve lymph node detection.
The mean (95% CI) SUVmax of the primary tumour was 13.1 (10.6-15.5) versus 13.0 (10.4-15.6) for 3D and motion-compensated PET/CT, respectively. MTVs were also similar between the two techniques. Bland-Altman analysis showed mean differences between both measurements (95% limits of agreement) of 0.08 (-3.60-3.75), -0.26 (-2.34-1.82), 4.66 (-29.61-38.92) cm3 and -0.95 (-19.9-18.0) cm3 for tumour SUVmax, lymph node SUVmax, MTV2.5 and MTV50%, respectively. Lymph nodes were classified as highly suspicious (30/34 nodes), suspicious (20/22) and dubious (66/59) for metastases on 3D/motion-compensated PET/CT. No additional lymph node metastases were found on motion-compensated PET/CT. SUVmax of the most intense lymph nodes was similar for both scans: mean (95% CI) 6.6 (4.3-8.8) and 6.8 (4.5-9.1) for 3D and motion-compensated, respectively.
Respiratory-induced motion of oesophageal tumours and lymph nodes can influence positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT). The aim was to compare standard three-dimensional (3D) and motion-compensated PET/CT regarding standardized uptake value (SUV), metabolic tumour volume (MTV) and detection of lymph node metastases.