The objective of the current study was to determine the accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) for detecting lymph node metastases in patients with uterine cervical carcinoma compared with thin-section histopathologic results from systemic lymphadenectomy.
Twenty-two patients with International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (FIGO) Stage IB–IVA cervical carcinoma who underwent both MRI and PET/CT before lymphadenectomy were included in this study. Lymphadenectomy involved removing all visible lymph nodes in the surgical fields. To enable region-specific comparisons, paraaortic and pelvic lymph nodes were divided into seven regions: the paraaortic area, both common iliac areas, both external iliac areas, and both internal iliac/obturator areas. Histopathologic evaluation of lymph nodes was the diagnostic standard. Chi-square analysis was used to compare the accuracy of MRI and PET/CT for the detection of metastatic lymph nodes. A P value ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
With MRI, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy rates for detecting metastatic lymph nodes in each lymph node group were 30.3% (10 of 33 lymph node groups), 92.6% (112 of 121 lymph node groups), and 72.7% (122 of 154 lymph node groups), respectively; with PET/CT, those rates were 57.6% (19 of 33 lymph node groups), 92.6% (112 of 121 lymph node groups), and 85.1% (131 of 154 lymph node groups), respectively. Statistical analysis showed that PET/CT was more sensitive than MRI (P = 0.026) but that there were no statistical differences noted with regard to specificity (P = 1.000) or accuracy (P = 0.180). Power analysis demonstrated that a sample size of 685 lymph node groups (98 patients) would be necessary to demonstrate that PET/CT was more accurate than MRI (α = 0.05; β = 0.80).
PET/CT was more sensitive than MRI for detecting lymph node metastases in patients with uterine cervical carcinoma. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society.