NL Robertson, H Hricak, Y Sonoda, RE Sosa, M Benz, G Lyons, NR Abu-Rustum, E Sala, HA Vargas
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the changes in prognostic impression and patient management following PET/CT in patients with vulvar and vaginal carcinoma; and to compare PET/CT findings with those of conventional imaging modalities. METHODS: We summarized prospectively and retrospectively collected data for 50 consecutive patients from our institution that enrolled in the National Oncologic PET Registry and underwent FDG-PET/CT for a suspected or known primary or recurrent vulvar/vaginal cancer. RESULTS: 54/83 (65%) studies included had a diagnosis of vulvar cancer, and the remaining 29/83 (35%), a diagnosis of vaginal cancer. Following FDG-PET/CT, the physician's prognostic impression changed in 51% of cases. A change in patient management, defined as a change to/from a non-interventional strategy (observation or additional imaging), to/from an interventional strategy (biopsy or treatment), was documented in 36% of studies. The electronic records demonstrated that 95% of the management strategies recorded in the physician questionnaires were implemented as planned. MRI and/or CT were performed within one month of the FDG-PET/CT in 20/83 (24%) and 28/83 (34%) cases, respectively. FDG-PET/CT detected nodes suspicious for metastases on 29/83 (35%) studies performed. MRI and CT detected positive nodes on 6 and 11 studies respectively. Distant metastases were identified in 10 cases imaged with FDG-PET and 5 cases that had additional conventional CT imaging. All suspicious lesions seen on CT were positively identified on PET/CT. In 4 cases, an abnormality identified on PET/CT, was not seen on diagnostic CT. CONCLUSIONS: FDG-PET/CT may play an important role in the management of vulvar and vaginal carcinoma.