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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 147-155

Role of positron emission tomography-computed tomography in staging and early chemotherapy response evaluation in children with neuroblastoma

1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Pediatric Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Medical Oncology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Rakesh Kumar
E-81, Ansari Nagar (East), AIIMS Campus, New Delhi-110 029
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Source of Support: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi,India, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-3919.78249

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Background : To evaluate the role of positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) in staging and determining early treatment response to chemotherapy in children with neuroblastoma (NB) and its correlation with the final outcome. Patients and Methods: Seventeen patients of NB with mean age of 51.5 months (age range 2-132 months; 14 males, 3 females) underwent serial 18F-flourodeoxygl ucose (FDG) PET-CT imaging. All 17 patients were for staging before any treatment. Twelve of 17 patients underwent I-131 meta-iodobezylguanidine (MIBG) scan and bone scan. MIBG uptake was seen in the primary lesion in 11/12 patients. MIBG uptake in bones was seen in 3/12 patients. All bone lesions were concordant on MIBG and bone scan. Early response to chemotherapy was evaluated after two cycles using PET-CT. A 30% reduction in longest diameter was taken as cut-off value for response on CT based on the response evaluation criteria in solid tumors criteria. Response on PET-CT was assessed using percentage improvement in lesion to background SUV ratio, taking a value of 50% as cut-off. Final outcome based on follow-up ranging from 6 to 43 months (mean 18.8 months) served as reference. Results: All 17 patients showed increased FDG uptake at the primary site. Seven of the 17 patients (41.2%) showed metastasis. Lymph nodes were the most common site of metastatic disease followed by bone, bone marrow, lung and meninges. For response evaluation, change in the size of the primary tumor was noted in 11/17 (64.7%) patients on CT. Treatment response was noted in 12/17 patients (70.6%) on PET-CT. Eleven out of 17 (65%) patients showed response in both CT and PET-CT. Five out of 17 patients showed no response in both. Discordant findings on CT and PET were noted in one (5.9%) patient where PET showed response but no response was seen on CT. Two patients with initial response but with distant metastases expired during follow-up. Conclusion: PET-CT has potential in the initial staging of NB. PET-CT also appears to be a good modality for response assessment in patients with moderate and high FDG uptake on the baseline scan. However, no significant beneficial effect was seen in patients with low baseline FDG uptake.

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