Clinical impact of FDG PET/CT in alimentary tract malignancies: an updated review
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. The use of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (PET/CT) is well established in the evaluation of alimentary tract malignancies. This review of the literature and demonstration of correlative images focuses on the current role of PET/CT in the diagnosis (including pathologic/clinical staging) and post-therapy follow-up of esophageal, gastric, and colorectal cancers. PET/CT provides utility in the management of esophageal cancer, including detection of distant disease prior to resection. In gastric cancer, PET/CT is useful in detecting solid organ metastases and in characterizing responders vs. non-responders after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, the latter of which have poorer overall survival. In patients with GIST tumors, PET/CT also determines response to imatinib therapy with greater expedience as compared to CECT. For colorectal cancer, PET/CT has proven helpful in detecting hepatic and other distant metastases, treatment response, and differentiating post-radiation changes from tumor recurrence. Our review also highlights several pitfalls in PET/CT interpretation of alimentary tract lesions.