[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Original Article
December 1, 2006

Preoperative Positron Emission Tomography to Evaluate Potentially Resectable Hepatic Colorectal Metastases

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Surgery (Drs Joyce, Schulick, Gearhart, and Choti) and Radiology (Drs Wahl and Patel), The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Md.

Arch Surg. 2006;141(12):1220-1226. doi:10.1001/archsurg.141.12.1220

Hypothesis  Positron emission tomography (PET) influences clinical management in the preoperative evaluation of patients with hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer.

Design  Prospective cohort study.

Setting  Academic tertiary care center.

Patients  From January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2002, 71 consecutive patients referred with potentially resectable hepatic metastases based on conventional imaging findings underwent PET or PET with computed tomography in the subsequent preoperative evaluation.

Intervention  Performance of hepatic resection was based on the results of the overall preoperative evaluation.

Main Outcome Measures  Concordance with conventional imaging findings, identification of additional findings, and change in clinical management were analyzed.

Results  The PET findings confirmed the lesions identified by conventional imaging techniques in 64 (90%) of the patients. Additional lesions were identified on PET in 23 patients (32%). The information obtained by PET resulted in a change in clinical management in 17 cases (24%). False-positive PET findings occurred in 6 patients (8%), whereas false understaging occurred in 11 (15%). In no cases did PET findings have an adverse impact on patient outcome.

Conclusions  Postiron emission tomography provides useful information in the selection of patients with hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer being considered for surgical therapy. Such improved selection may serve to reduce the number of unnecessary surgical explorations and result in improved long-term survival in patients undergoing resection. Positron emission tomography should be integrated into the routine preoperative evaluation of patients being considered for hepatic resection of colorectal metastases.