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FDG PET/CT in Detection of Adrenal Metastasis in Patients With Renal Cell Carcinoma

Kumar, Rakesh, MD, PhD; Shamim, Shamim Ahmed, MD; Shandal, Varun, MD; Sharma, Punit, MD; Gadodia, Ankur, MD; Malhotra, Arun, MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/RLU.0b013e3182175435
Original Article

Aim: Adrenal metastasis in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is uncommon. The present study was aimed to evaluate the role of fluoro-deoxy-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET)/computed tomography (CT) in the detection of adrenal metastasis in patients with RCC.

Materials and Methods: A total of 9 FDG PET/CT scans were performed in 4 patients (3 males, 1 female; median age: 53.5 years, range: 52–73 years). Of 9 PET/CT scans, 2 scans were done for initial staging, 2 for restaging, and 5 for evaluation of treatment response. PET/CT image interpretation and analysis was performed qualitatively (visually) and semiquantitatively. Absence of uptake in postchemotherapy PET/CT scan was considered as complete response and a fall in SUV by more than 50% of baseline value, as significant response.

Results: Patients 1 and 2 underwent staging FDG PET/CT. Patient 1 had undergone left radical nephrectomy 13 years back for left-sided RCC. Current FDG PET/CT revealed appearance of right RCC with adrenal metastasis. PET/CT of patient 2 demonstrated right adrenal and distant metastases. PET/CT done for restaging in patient 3, revealed right adrenal and abdominal lymph nodal metastasis. In patient 4, PET/CT revealed solitary adrenal metastasis. Magnetic resonance imaging findings were consistent with adrenal metastasis in this patient. Patient 1 received sunitinib and interferon chemotherapy along with radiotherapy and showed partial response on PET/CT scans done at 6, 17, 23, and 33 months from the initial study. PET/CT of patient 3 demonstrated the progression of disease (nonresponder).

Conclusion: FDG PET/CT appears to be useful for staging, treatment response evaluation, and recurrence detection in patients with RCC having adrenal metastasis.

From the Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.

Received for publication March 11, 2010; revision accepted October 24, 2010.

Reprints: Rakesh Kumar, MD, E-81, Ansari Nagar (East), AIIMS Campus, New Delhi-110029, India. E-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.