Localizing positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) findings in heavily scarred surgical fields can be challenging. A high energy gamma probe (PET probe) can be used to guide surgery in those difficult areas. We describe our experience localizing and removing fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) avid lesions in different body areas. Between 2004 and 2007, we used the PET probe to localize and remove 12 lesions from 9 patients. The lesions were removed confirming ex vivo and tumor bed FDG activity. Five patients had lesions in previously operated and sometimes radiated fields. One patient had FDG avid spots in the retroperitoneum. Two lymphoma patients had been previously treated and had new FDG avid spots in a background of scarred nodes. The last patient had a core biopsy suspicious for lymphoma but a repeat CT was non-specific. One patient with gastric cancer patient, two patients with melanoma patients and two patients with breast cancer had 10 metastatic lesions easily identified and removed. After a median follow-up of 14 months all five patients are alive. The two patients with lymphoma had their FDG avid lymph nodes easily identified and biopsied. In one patient with melanoma and one patient with suspected lymphoma, the preoperative scan revealed no FDG avid lesions. The PET probe confirmed this finding in the operating room. Clinical applications of PET probe guided surgery include restaging for previously treated lymphoma patients, localization and resection of metastatic FDG avid nodules especially in previously operated or radiated fields and biopsy of PET findings difficult to localize.
- FDG avid lesions
- PET probe
- PET scan
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology