PET plus computed bioconductance adds up to improved lung evaluation

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Researchers in China have shown that adding measurements from computed bioconductance (CB) to fluorodeoxyglucose PET ( 18FDG-PET) imaging can work as a non-invasive, pre-biopsy option for accurately distinguishing between benign and malignant lesions in the lungs, according to a study abstract published ahead of presentation at an international thoracic specialist gathering.

Lead author Dawei Yang, MD, Zhongshan Hospital Fudan University, Shanghai, and colleagues looked at 10 patients with suspected lung cancer who underwent the combination diagnostic procedure.

Eight of the 10 had a malignant diagnosis, while two had a benign diagnosis, as confirmed in subsequent tissue biopsy.

The research team generated a composite CB result by measuring multiple locations on the skin, scoring the result as either positive or negative.

They found that CB evaluation of seven PET-determinate cases yielded 67 percent sensitivity (four of six true positives) and 100 percent specificity (one of one true negatives).

Meanwhile, with all cases, CB results improved sensitivity to 75 percent (six of eight true positives).

Notably, two of five cancer-indeterminate  18FDG-PET readings were small—less than three centimeters in diameter—and these were correctly categorized by CB, according to the abstract, which says the full study report will be presented April 16 at the multispecialty CHEST World Congress 2016 in Shanghai and published in the journal  Chest.

“In China, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality and causes huge health burdens and expense,” the authors write. “Adding CB measurement to standard PET scanning could prove to be a useful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for aiding diagnosis of patients with lung cancer.”