Positron emission tomography imaging in lung cancer.
Over the past several years, positron emission tomography (PET) has become a clinically useful, noninvasive study which complements conventional imaging (chest radiographs, computed tomography [CT], and magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) in the evaluation of patients with lung cancer. PET imaging of lung cancer is typically performed with the radiopharmaceutical 18F-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG), a d-glucose analog. Increased glucose metabolism by malignant cells results in increased uptake and accumulation of FDG, which serves as the basis for tumor detection. This review will focus on the current applications of FDG-PET in lung cancer patients including evaluation of focal pulmonary abnormalities, staging lung cancer, determining tumor recurrence, and in assessing prognosis.
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