Value of 18F-FDG PET/CT Combined With Tumor Markers in the Evaluation of Ascites.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 May;210(5):1155-1163. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.18733. Epub 2018 Apr 9. Han N1,2, Sun X1,2, Qin C1,2, Hassan Bakari K1,2, Wu Z1,2, Zhang Y1,2, Lan X1,2.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to investigate the value of 18F-FDG PET/CT combined with assessment of tumor markers in serum or ascites for the diagnosing and determining the prognosis of benign and malignant ascites.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with ascites of unknown cause who underwent evaluation with FDG PET/CT were included in this retrospective study. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) and levels of the tumor markers carbohydrate antigen-125 (CA-125) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in serum and ascites were recorded. The diagnostic values of FDG PET/CT, CEA and CA-125 levels in serum or ascites, and the combination of imaging plus tumor marker assessment were evaluated. Factors that were predictive of survival were also analyzed.
RESULTS: A total of 177 patients were included. Malignant ascites was eventually diagnosed in 104 patients, and benign ascites was diagnosed in the remaining 73 patients. With the use of FDG PET/CT, 44 patients (42.3%) were found to have primary tumors. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of FDG PET/CT were 92.3%, 83.6%, and 88.7%, respectively. CA-125 levels in serum and ascites showed much better sensitivity than did CEA levels, but they showed significantly lower specificity. If the combination of tumor markers and FDG PET/CT was analyzed, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of tumor markers in serum were 96.6%, 78.1%, and 88.7%, and those of tumor markers in ascites were 97.7%, 80.0%, and 90.4%, respectively. Sex may be an important factor affecting survival time (hazard ratio, 0.471; p = 0.004), but age, CEA level, and FDG PET/CT findings could not predict survival.
CONCLUSION: FDG PET/CT combined with assessment of tumor markers, especially CEA, increased the efficacy of diagnosis of ascites of unknown causes. Male sex conferred a poorer prognosis, whereas age, CEA level, and FDG uptake had no predictive significance in patients with malignant ascites.