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Evaluation of 18FDG PET-CT-positive mediastinal-hilar lymph nodes in extrathoracic malignancies by EBUS-TBNA; correlation of SUVmax, and short-axis diameter with the final diagnosis

 Department of Chest and Respiratory Medicine, Delhi State Cancer Institute, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Kunal Luthra,
Department of Chest and Respiratory Medicine, Delhi State Cancer Institute, Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_687_19

PMID: 35017370

Introduction: Intrathoracic lymph node metastasis from extrathoracic neoplasms are rare. Primary malignancies that metastasize to mediastinal-hilar lymph nodes are head and neck , carcinoma breast ,and genitourinary. Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA)/endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) is currently the preferred modality for mediastinal lymph node sampling. Methods: Fifty seven patients with extrathoracic malignancies with maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of mediastinal-hilar lymph nodes greater than or equal to 2.5 were taken up for EBUS-TBNA. The histo-cytopathological results obtained from EBUS-TBNA were compared with SUVmax value and short-axis diameter of a lymph node as noted on EBUS. Results: Out of 74 sampled nodes, 49 (66.2%) were benign and 25 (33.8%) were malignant. The SUVmax range of benign nodes was 2.8–13 as compared to 3–18 of malignant nodes. The size range of malignant and benign nodes were 8–35 mm and 8–30 mm, respectively. The mean size of abnormal nodes (metastatic + granulomatous) was 17.5 (8–35 mm) and the mean SUVmax was 9.1 (3.4–18), and it was a statistically significant difference when compared to reactive (normal) nodes. At SUVmax cut-off 7.5, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) were 78.5%, 81.2%, 84.6%, and 74.2%, respectively for detecting abnormal nodes. At 13 mm size cut-off, sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV were 75.5%, 65%, 75%, and 72%, respectively, for detecting abnormal nodes. Conclusion: The majority of mediastinal-hilar nodes with increased metabolic activity are benign in nature. Size and SUVmax are poor predictors of metastasis in tuberculosis endemic region. There should be a restrictive attitude toward invasive diagnostic testing for mediastinal-hilar nodes in extrathoracic malignancies.

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