Sara Pellegrino, Rosa Fonti, Carlo Vallone, Rocco Morra, Elide Matano, Sabino De Placido, Silvana Del Vecchio

Coefficient of Variation in Metastatic Lymph Nodes Determined by 18F-FDG PET/CT in Patients with Advanced NSCLC: Combination with Coefficient of Variation in Primary Tumors

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Purpose The aim of the present study was to test whether the coefficient of variation (CoV) of 18F-FDG PET/CT images of metastatic lymph nodes and primary tumors may predict clinical outcome in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Materials and Methods Fifty-eight NSCLC patients who had undergone 18F-FDG PET/CT at diagnosis were evaluated. SUVmax, SUVmean, CoV, MTV and TLG were determined in targeted lymph nodes and corresponding primary tumors along with Total MTV (MTVTOT) and Whole-Body TLG (TLGWB) of all malignant lesions. Univariate analysis was performed using Cox proportional hazards regression whereas the Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank tests were used for survival analysis. Results Fifty-eight metastatic lymph nodes were analyzed and average values of SUVmax, SUVmean, CoV, MTV and TLG were 11.89 ± 8.54, 4.85 ± 1.90, 0.37 ± 0.16, 46.16 ± 99.59 mL and 256.84 ± 548.27 g, respectively, whereas in primary tumors they were 11.92 ± 6.21, 5.47 ± 2.34, 0.36 ± 0.14, 48.03 ± 64.45 mL and 285.21 ± 397.95 g, respectively. At univariate analysis, overall survival (OS) was predicted by SUVmax (p = 0.0363), SUVmean (p = 0.0200) and CoV (p = 0.0139) of targeted lymph nodes as well as by CoV of primary tumors (p = 0.0173), MTVTOT (p = 0.0007), TLGWB (p = 0.0129) and stage (p = 0.0122). Using Kaplan–Meier analysis, OS was significantly better in patients with CoV of targeted lymph nodes ≤ 0.29 than those with CoV > 0.29 (p = 0.0147), meanwhile patients with CoV of primary tumors > 0.38 had a better prognosis compared to those with CoV ≤ 0.38 (p = 0.0137). Finally, we combined the CoV values of targeted lymph nodes and primary tumors in all possible arrangements and a statistically significant difference was found among the four survival curves (p = 0.0133). In particular, patients with CoV of targeted lymph nodes ≤ 0.29 and CoV of primary tumors > 0.38 had the best prognosis. Conclusions The CoV of targeted lymph nodes combined with the CoV of primary tumors can predict prognosis of NSCLC patients.

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