The Role of Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography in the Diagnosis of Pleural Diseases
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Background: The aim of the study was to assess the role of F-18 fluoro-2-D-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography ((18)FDG-PET)/computed tomography (CT) in patients with undiagnosed pleural diseases and to compare the findings with those of invasive diagnostic procedures. Methods: The study included 83 patients with pleural lesions (63 with pleural effusion; 20 with pleural thickening) on CT scan performed between November 2005 and December 2007. The Study group consisted of 63 males and 20 females; their median age was 47 years. PET-CT scan was performed for all patients before surgery. A maximum standard uptake value greater than 3.0 was accepted as positive for malignancy. For histopathological diagnosis, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery was performed in 76 patients and a mini-thoracotomy was performed for the remaining 7 patients. Results: Postoperative histopathological examination revealed malignancy in 44 cases, 25 of which were malignant mesothelioma; the remaining 39 cases were benign. There were no false negative results, but two false positive results (tuberculosis). PET-CT scanning had 100% sensitivity, 94.8% specificity and 97.5% accuracy. Conclusion: Our study Suggests that PET-CT may be an effective tool for the differentiation of benign and malignant pleural diseases. We believe that PET/CT may prevent redundant surgical procedures in Young patients who are SUVmax negative.