[18F]FDG-PET/CT texture analysis in thyroid incidentalomas: preliminary results

Published on 2017-10-12T05:00:00Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background significance of incidental thyroid 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) uptake on positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scans remains controversial. We aimed to evaluate the ability of [18F]FDG-PET/CT texture analysis to predict final diagnosis in thyroid incidentaloma. Methods We retrospectively evaluated medical records of all patients who performed a [18F]FDG-PET/CT from January 2012 to October 2016. Those patients who presented a thyroid incidentaloma described in the medical records and performed a fine needle aspiration in our institution were considered for the analysis. Cytological and/or histological results were used as reference standard to define the final diagnosis. In case of negative cytology, the nodule was considered benign. In case of non-diagnostic or inconclusive results ultrasound, follow-up and further cytology/histology were used as final diagnosis. For suspected or positive cytological result, histology was used as reference standard. PET images were segmented using a General Electric AW workstation running PET VCAR software (GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI, USA) settled with a threshold of 40% SUVmax. LifeX software ( http://www.lifexsoft.org ) was used to perform texture analysis. Statistical analysis was performed with R package ( https://www.r-project.org ). Results We identified 55 patients with incidental thyroid [18F]FDG uptake. Five patients were excluded from the analysis because a final diagnosis was not available. Thirty-two out of 50 patients had benign nodules while in 18/50 cases a malignancy (primary thyroid cancer = 15, metastases = 3) was diagnosed. Conventional PET parameters and histogram-based features were calculated for all 50 patients, while other matrices-based features were available for 28/50 patients. SUVmax and skewness resulted significantly different in benign and malignant nodules (p = 0.01 and = 0.02, respectively). Using ROC analysis, seven features were identified as potential predictors. Among all the textural features tested, skewness showed the best area under the curve (= 0.66). SUV-based parameters resulted in the highest specificity while MTV, TLG, skewness and kurtosis, as well as correlationGLCM resulted better in sensitivity. Conclusions [18F]FDG-PET/CT texture analysis seems to be a promising approach to stratify the patients with thyroid incidentaloma identified on PET scans, with respect to the risk of the diagnosis of a malignant thyroid nodule and thus, could refine the selection of the patients to be referred for cytology.

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Sollini, M.; Cozzi, L.; Pepe, G.; Antunovic, L.; Lania, A.; Di Tommaso, L.; Magnoni, P.; Erba, P.; Kirienko, M. (2017): [18F]FDG-PET/CT texture analysis in thyroid incidentalomas: preliminary results. figshare. Collection.