Evaluation of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography imaging in metastatic transitional cell carcinoma with and without prior chemotherapy

I. Jenna Liu, Yen Man Lai, Jocelyn I. Espiritu, George M. Segall, Sandy Srinivas, Matilde Nino-Murcia, Martha K. Terris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations


Introduction: This study was designed to determine the value of fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) in the evaluation of metastatic transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). Methods: Fifty-eight FDG PET scans were performed on 46 consecutive patients with TCC. Results were correlated with radiologic, pathologic, and histologic findings in these patients and the sensitivity of PET for detecting malignancy in untreated TCC patients (n = 48) was compared to the sensitivity in patients who had undergone prior chemotherapy (n = 10). Results: Of 48 scans in patients who had no prior systemic chemotherapy, 10 had increased uptake in proven metastatic TCC lesions and 3 PET studies failed to reveal metastatic TCC (sensitivity 76.9%). In patients free of metastatic disease, 33 revealed no abnormal uptake and 1 study revealed a suspicious area in a patient free of metastases (specificity = 97.1%). However, in 10 patients imaged after receiving chemotherapy, the sensitivity fell to 50% for the detection of histologically confirmed residual/recurrent tumor by PET. Conclusions: FDG PET detects increased metabolic activity. After chemotherapy, viable cancer cells may still be present but with a diminished metabolic rate. As a result, PET imaging is often useful in the evaluation of untreated metastatic TCC metastasis but should be interpreted with caution in patients who have received prior chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalUrologia Internationalis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2006



  • Bladder cancer
  • Imaging
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Staging
  • Transitional cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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