Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2023 Oct;57(5):223-234. doi: 10.1007/s13139-023-00808-3. Epub 2023 Jun 13.
PURPOSE: We aimed to investigate the additional value of preoperative PET/CT and reveal relationships between metabolic parameters, pericolic fat stranding finding, postoperative histopathology, and overall survival in colorectal cancer (CRC).
METHODS: CRC patients who underwent preoperative PET/CT between January 2017-December 2021 were analyzed. Lymph nodes, organ metastases, and metabolic parameters were evaluated from PET/CT. The pericolic fat stranding was evaluated from CT component. Relationships between these factors and postoperative histopathological findings were statistically analyzed. Survival analyses were performed.
RESULTS: Ninety-one patients (59 males, 32 females) were included in the study. All tumors showed high FDG uptake (mean SUVmax 19.5 ± 9.9). SUVmax of the tumor differed significantly at T3 and T4 stages (p = 0.041). A significant correlation was found between MTV, TLG values and the differentiation degree (p = 0.005, 0.003, respectively). PET/CT predicted the N stage with a high accuracy rate (80%). PET/CT found additional metastases that changed treatment decisions in one-third of patients. A relationship was found between tumor length, surgical margin, lymphovascular invasion and pericolic fat stranding. In multivariate analysis, differentiation degree (HR = 26.1, 95%CI 1.672-408.467), MTV (HR = 0.3, 95%CI 0.071-0.841), TLG (HR = 3.5, 95%CI 1.065-11.193), and lymphovascular invasion (HR = 0.2, 95%CI 0.026-0.853, p = 0.033) were independent factors affecting overall survival.
CONCLUSION: Preoperative PET/CT contributes to CRC management by detecting additional metastases as well as predicting prognosis and postoperative findings such as T stage, N stage and tumor differentiation. The SUVmax may differentiate between T3 and T4 tumor. Reporting of pericolic fat stranding may contribute to the estimation of lymphatic invasion and positive surgical margin.