Diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG-PET/CT in early and late stages of high-risk cutaneous malignant melanoma

E. Gellén, O. Sántha, E. Janka, I. Juhász, Z. Péter, I. Erdei, R. Lukács, N. Fedinecz, L. Galuska, Remenyik, G. Emri

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Background The precise role of total body 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) in the clinical management of patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is not well established. Objective The purpose of this study was to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of PET/CT in early- and late-stage patients with high-risk CMM. Methods We retrospectively analysed various imaging, histopathological and clinical data from 97 patients also examined by PET/CT during a 5-year period (2007-2011). Three groups were assessed: stage I/II, resected stage III and unresectable stage III/stage IV. Results The median follow-up time of living patients was 43.48 ± 19.67 (15-142) months. We observed a high diagnostic accuracy in all stages (91.3%, 92.5% and 96.2% respectively). PET/CT appeared to be reliable diagnostic tool even for the detection of small lymph node metastases. PET/CT was informative in 14 of 19 cases wherein another imaging examination provided inconclusive results regarding lesion dignity. However, PET/CT was less suitable for properly evaluating the dignity of a lung lesion. A true positive scan was twice as likely in clinically negative patients with resected stage III disease than in patients with stage I/II disease (35.9% and 14.5%, P = 0.007). Conclusions These results confirm that PET/CT is an important diagnostic tool in the management of patients with high-risk CMM, but it cannot replace the standard of care examinations. More accurate clinicopathological and timing criteria must be defined to best utilize the advantages of this imaging method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1938-1944
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases

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