Radionuclide Imaging of Thoracic Malignancies

Stanley J. Goldsmith, MD ; Lale A. Kostakoglu, MD ; Serge Somrov, MD ; Christopher J. Palestro, MD

Over the past decade a variety of nuclear medicine imaging studies have become available that are of considerable value to patients who have pulmonary malignancies. By far the greatest impact on the management of patients who have thoracic malignancy has been the availability of fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose–positron emission tomography ([18F]-FDG-PET) imaging. In the patient who has newly diagnosed lung carcinoma, [18F]-FDG-PET improves the accuracy of staging the disease by identifying or excluding madiatinal disease and distant metastatic foci. [18F]-FDG-PET is superior to anatomic methods for evaluating the response to therapy and for distinguishing recurrent disease from post treatment changes. Studies are in progress to evaluate the role of [18F]-FDG-PET imaging in assessing prognosis.