Purpose: The purpose of this study was to prospectively and directly compare diagnostic capabilities of whole-body integrated FDG-PET/CT and standard radiologic examination for assessment of recurrence in postoperative non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Materials and methods: A total of 92 consecutive pathologically diagnosed NSCLC patients (65 males, 27 females; mean age, 71 years) underwent pathologically and surgically proven complete resection, followed by prospective whole-body FDG-PET/CT and standard radiological examinations. Final diagnosis of recurrence was based on the results of more than 1 year of follow-up and/or pathological examinations. On both methods, the probability of recurrence was assessed in each patient by using a five-point visual scoring system, and the each final diagnosis was made by consensus between two readers. Kappa analyses were performed to determine inter-observer agreement for both methods, and ROC analyses were used to compare capability of the two methods for assessment of postoperative recurrence on a per-patient basis. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were also compared between PET/CT and standard radiological examination by means of McNemar's test. Results: All inter-observer agreements were almost perfect (integrated PET/CT: κ = 0.89; standard radiological examination: κ = 0.81). There were no statistically significant differences in area under the curve, sensitivity, specificity and accuracy between integrated FDG-PET/CT and standard radiologic examinations (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Integrated FDG-PET/CT can be used for assessment of postoperative recurrence in NSCLC patients with accuracy as good as that of standard radiological examinations.
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