Objective: We retrospectively assessed and compared the usefulness of 11C-methionine (MET)-PET with that of 18F-FDG-PET for the differentiation between benign lesions and malignant tumors of the lung. Methods: We examined 101 patients with a suspected lung tumor including 79 patients with primary lung cancer and 22 patients with benign lesions. One hundred and forty PET studies (46 studies with MET-PET and 94 studies with FDG-PET) were performed. Both MET-PET and FDG-PET were performed on 39 patients. The MET-PET was performed 15 minutes after the administration of 67-740 MBq of MET, and FDG-PET 45 minutes after the administration of 30-437 MBq of FDG. The results were then evaluated by the standardized uptake value (SUV). Results: The MET uptake in lung cancer was 3.69 ± 1.22 (n = 37) which was significantly higher than that in benign lesions 1.81 ± 1.04 (n = 9) (p < 0.001). The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of MET-PET were 83.8%, 88.9% and 84.8%, respectively, when 2.66 of SUV was used as the cutoff value. The FDG uptake in lung cancer was 5.94 ± 2.89 (n = 75) and was also significantly larger than that in benign lesions 2.46 ± 1.01 (n = 19) (p < 0.001). The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of FDG-PET were 81.3%, 78.9% and 80.9%, respectively (cutoff = 3.20). The MET uptake in the lesions correlated significantly with FDG uptake (r = 0.71, p < 0.001). According to an ROC analysis, the area under the curve for MET-PET (area = 0. 833) was higher than that for FDG-PET (area = 0.828), but the difference was not statistically significant. Furthermore, the combined use of MET-PET and FDG-PET did not improve the diagnostic ability. Conclusions: In conclusion, both MET-PET and FDG-PET were considered to be equally useful for the differential diagnosis of lung tumors. Furthermore, MET uptake in lung lesions was found to correlate significantly with FDG uptake.
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