Use of PET/CT to aid clinical decision-making in cases of solitary pulmonary nodule: a probabilistic approach

Abstract Objective: To determine the frequency with which 18F-FDG-PET/CT findings change the probability of malignancy classification of solitary pulmonary nodules. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of all 18F-FDG-PET/CT examinations performed for the investigation of a solitary pulmonary nodule between May 2016 and May 2017. We reviewed medical records and PET/CT images to collect the data necessary to calculate the pre-test probability of malignancy using the Swensen model and the Herder model. The probability of malignancy was classified as low if < 5%, intermediate if 5-65%, and high if > 65%. Cases classified as intermediate in the Swensen model were reclassified by the Herder model. Results: We reviewed the records for 33 patients, of whom 17 (51.5%) were male. The mean age was 68.63 ± 12.20 years. According to the Swensen model, the probability of malignancy was intermediate in 23 cases (69.7%). Among those, the application of the Herder model resulted in the probability of malignancy being reclassified as low in 6 (26.1%) and as high in 8 (34.8%). Conclusion: 18F-FDG-PET/CT was able to modify the probability of malignancy classification of a solitary pulmonary nodule in more than 50% of the cases evaluated.