Usefulness of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in differential diagnosis and staging of cholangiocarcinomas

Chang Mo Moon, Seungmin Bang, Jae Bock Chung, Seung Woo Park, Si Young Song, Mijin Yun, Jong Doo Lee

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    Background and Aim: 18F-Fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose positron emission tomography (18FDG-PET) is promising for diagnosis and treatment of various malignancies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical usefulness of 18FDG-PET in differential diagnosis and staging of cholangiocarcinomas according to the intrahepatic, perihilar and common bile duct lesions and to compare with computerized tomography (CT) scan. Methods: From January 2000 to September 2003, 54 patients with suspected cholangiocarcinoma underwent abdominal CT scan and 18FDG-PET within a 2-week period. The PET images were analyzed visually and semiquantitatively. Results: The overall accuracy of 18FDG-PET for discriminating malignant diseases of bile duct from benign conditions was slightly higher than that of CT scan (88.9% vs 81.5%). The sensitivity of 18FDG-PET in perihilar cholangiocarcinoma was lower than the value of intrahepatic and common bile duct cancers (83.3% vs 91.3%, 90.9%); moreover, in cases of perihilar cancer, the sensitivity of 18FDG-PET was lower than that of CT scans (83.3% vs 91.7%). 18FDG-PET detected nine distant metastatic lesions not found by other imaging studies and excluded two patients who potentially had resectable condition in other imaging studies from unnecessary laparotomy. Conclusion: The clinical usefulness of 18FDG-PET in differential diagnosis of bile duct cancers is related to the site of primary disease. Although it is a helpful method for differential diagnosis especially in cases of intrahepatic and common bile duct cancers, 18FDG-PET can not provide confirmative clues in perihilar cholangiocarcinoma. 18FDG-PET may hold promise in the detection of hidden distant metastasis and can play an additional role in the evaluation of resectability. 18FDG-PET can be complementary to CT scan in diagnosing and staging of cholangiocarcinoma.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)759-765
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - May 2008



    • Cholangiocarcinoma
    • Computed tomography
    • Positron emission tomography

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Hepatology
    • Gastroenterology

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