ISSN 1305-3825 | E-ISSN 1305-3612
Chest Imaging - Original Article
Increased x-ray attenuation in malignant vs. benign mediastinal nodes in an orthotopic model of lung cancer
1 Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany  
2 Molecular Imaging Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA  
3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany  
4 Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany  
5 Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Dusseldorf, School of Medicine, Düsseldorf, Germany  
6 Core Facility of Statistics, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany  
7 Core Facility Small Animal Imaging, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany  
8 Department of Molecular Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center and University Hospital Center Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany  
9 Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; Translational Lung Research Center Heidelberg, Member of the German Center for Lung Research DZL; Heidelberg, Germany  
10 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; Translational Lung Research Center Heidelberg, Member of the German Center for Lung Research DZL; Heidelberg, Germany  
Diagn Interv Radiol 2016; 22: 35-39
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2015.15220
Abstract

PURPOSE

Staging of lung cancer is typically performed with fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography-computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT); however, false positive PET scans can occur due to inflammatory disease. The CT scan is used for anatomic registration and attenuation correction. Herein, we evaluated x-ray attenuation (XRA) within nodes on CT and correlated this with the presence of malignancy in an orthotopic lung cancer model in rats.

 

METHODS

1×106 NCI-H460 cells were injected transthoracically in six National Institutes of Health nude rats and six animals served as controls. After two weeks, animals were sacrificed; lymph nodes were extracted and scanned with a micro-CT to determine their XRA prior to histologic analysis.

 

RESULTS

Median CT density in malignant lymph nodes (n=20) was significantly higher than benign lymph nodes (n=12; P = 0.018). Short-axis diameter of metastatic lymph nodes was significantly different than benign nodes (3.4 mm vs. 2.4 mm; P = 0.025). Area under the curve for malignancy was higher for density-based lymph node analysis compared with size measurements (0.87 vs. 0.7).

 

CONCLUSION

XRA of metastatic mediastinal lymph nodes is significantly higher than benign nodes in this lung cancer model. This suggests that information on nodal density may be useful when used in combination with the results of FDG-PET in determining the likelihood of malignant adenopathy

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