Article Abstract

Diagnostic performance of fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the management of solitary pulmonary nodule: a meta-analysis

Authors: Duilio Divisi, Mirko Barone, Luca Bertolaccini, Gino Zaccagna, Francesca Gabriele, Roberto Crisci


Background: In the setting of solitary pulmonary nodules (SPNs), fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG-PET/CT) is considered a useful noninvasive diagnostic tool though false positive (FP) and false negative (FN) results affects accuracy due to different conditions, such as inflammatory diseases or low-uptake neoplasms. Aim of this study is to evaluate overall diagnostic performance of 18F-FDG-PET/CT for malignant pulmonary nodules.
Methods: A computerized research, including published articles from 2012 and 2017, was carried out. 18F-FDG-PET/CT overall sensitivity (Se), specificity (Spe), positive likelihood ratio (PLR), negative likelihood ratio (NLR), positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), diagnostic index and odds ratio were pooled. No selection-bias were found according to asymmetry test.
Results: A total of twelve studies were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled Se, Spe, PLR, NLR, PPV, NPV and accuracy index (AI) with relative 95% confidence intervals (CI) were 0.819 (95% CI: 0.794– 0.843), 0.624 (95% CI: 0.582–0.665), 2.190 (95% CI: 1.950–2.440), 0.290 (95% CI: 0.250–0.330), 0.802 (95% CI: 0.783–0.819), 0.652 (95% CI: 0.618–0.684) and 0.649 (95% CI: 0.625–0.673), respectively. The diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) was 7.049 with a relative 95% CI between 5.550 and 8.944.
Conclusions: The results suggest 18F-FDG-PET/CT has good diagnostic accuracy in SPNs evaluation; but, it should not be considered as a discriminatory test rather than a method to be included in a clinical and diagnostic pathway.