Combined fluorine 18-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography-CT imaging has been shown to be of good diagnostic value in the preoperative evaluation of patients with colorectal cancer and liver metastases. The adjunctive use of intraoperative sonography (IOUS) may have a limited impact on treatment selection in these patients.
To compare the diagnostic performance of preoperative positron emission tomography (PET)-CT alone and PET-CT combined with IOUS in the evaluation of patients who are considered for curative resection of hepatic metastases from colorectal carcinoma.
Patients with colorectal cancer who underwent resection of hepatic metastases and preoperative PET-CT (with or without contrast-enhanced CT) and IOUS were identified. The performance of the imaging techniques was evaluated through review of the radiologic reports, correlation with surgical and histopathologic findings, and clinical follow-up.
Thirty-one patients (mean age, 63.5 years [range, 53-82 years]) were analyzed. Fifteen patients had received preoperative chemotherapy. The mean interval between PET-CT and IOUS was 22.6 days (range, 1-56 days). In 4 cases, neither PET-CT nor IOUS correctly diagnosed the liver metastases. In all 31 patients, the sensitivity of PET-CT alone and PET-CT combined with IOUS was 63% (95% CI 44-80%) and 93% (95% CI 78-98%), respectively; the positive predictive value was 81% and 89%, respectively. In patients without preoperative chemotherapy (n = 16), the sensitivity of PET-CT alone and PET-CT combined with IOUS was 77% (95% CI 49-94%) and 100% (95% CI 79-100%), respectively. In 11 cases (35%), IOUS altered the surgical strategy.
In patients with colorectal carcinoma and potentially resectable liver metastases on preoperative PET-CT, IOUS can provide additional information that may alter decision making with regard to surgical technique.