ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
The role of positron emission tomography/computed tomography in the evaluation of anterior mediastinal masses and differentiating between the histological subtypes of thymic epithelial neoplasms
Ahmet Yanarateş1, Emine Budak1
1Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Health Sciences, Izmir Dr. Suat Seren Chest Diseases and Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2020.18432
Background: This study aims to investigate the role of positron emission tomography/computed tomography in differentiating between benign and malignant anterior mediastinal masses and between the histological subtypes of thymic epithelial neoplasms.

Methods: This retrospective study included a total of 57 patients (30 males, 27 females; mean age 48.9 years; range, 14 to 78 years) who underwent an fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/ computed tomography with an indication of an anterior mediastinal mass between May 2010 and November 2018. The maximum and mean standardized uptake values, metabolic tumor volume, total lesion glycolysis, and mean Hounsfield units of the lesions were determined. Thymic epithelial neoplasms were classified as low-risk thymomas (A, AB, B1), high-risk thymomas (B2, B3), and thymic carcinomas. All lesions were evaluated together and divided into two groups as benign and malignant, and positron emission tomography/computed tomography parameters of the two groups were compared.

Results: Histopathological examination identified 29 thymic epithelial neoplasms (13 low-risk, 14 high-risk, two thymic carcinomas), 13 benign lesions, and 15 malignant lesions. No significant correlation was identified between the positron emission tomography/computed tomography parameters and histological subtype of thymic epithelial neoplasms. There was no significant difference in the maximum and mean standardized uptake values, metabolic tumor volume, total lesion glycolysis, and mean Hounsfield units of the lesions between low-risk and high-risk thymic carcinomas. The maximum and mean standardized uptake values, metabolic tumor volume, and mean Hounsfield units of the lesions were significantly higher in the malignant group than in the benign group.

Conclusion: Our study results show that positron emission tomography/ computed tomography is useful in the differentiation of benign and malignant anterior mediastinal masses, although it fails to differentiate between the histological subtypes of thymic epithelial neoplasms.

Keywords : Anterior mediastinal mass, fluorodeoxyglucose, maximum standardized uptake value, metabolic tumor volume, positron emission tomography/computed tomography, thymic epithelial neoplasm
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