The Role of [<SUP>18</SUP>F]FDG PET/CT in the Characterization of Thymic Epithelial Tumors at Initial Stage

Civan C., Ozkan Z. G., Ozkan B., Isik E. G., Erdogdu E., Simsek D. H., ...More

CANCER BIOTHERAPY AND RADIOPHARMACEUTICALS, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1089/cbr.2023.0192
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: FDG, PET/CT, thymic epithelial tumor, thymoma
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential role of [18F]FDG positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) in the characterization of thymic epithelial tumors (TETs). Materials and Methods: A total of 73 patients who underwent preoperative [18F]FDG PET/CT were included in this study. Visual total score (VTS), maximum standard uptake values (SUVmax), metabolic tumor volume (MTV), total lesion glycolysis (TLG), and heterogeneity index (HI) parameters were analyzed to investigate the prediction of histopathologic grade and advanced stage. Results: The cohort included 26 patients with low-grade thymoma (LGT), 36 patients with high-grade thymoma (HGT), and 11 patients with thymic carcinoma (TC). Ninety-one percent of TC had VTS >2, whereas 31% of LGT and 75% of HGT had VTS >2. SUVmax, MTV, and TLG were statistically significantly higher in the TC group than in both thymoma and HGT. Using the cutoff value of 7.25 for SUVmax, TC was differentiated from thymomas with 91% sensitivity and 74% specificity. TC had significantly lower HI values than thymomas. HI parameters showed good diagnostic ability to differentiate TC from thymoma and TC from HGT. SUVmax, MTV, and TLG were significantly higher in advanced-stage disease than in early-stage disease. Conclusions: Visual and quantitative parameters can reliably predict both advanced disease and the grade of primary tumor in TETs. Therefore, as a promising metabolic imaging method, [18F]FDG PET/CT makes important contributions to preoperative evaluation in routine clinical practice.