Observer agreement and accuracy of 18F-Sodium-Fluoride PET/CT in the diagnosis of bone metastases in prostate cancer

Helle D Zacho, Randi F Fonager, Julie B Nielsen, Christian Haarmark, Helle W Hendel, Martin B Johansen, Jesper C Mortensen, Lars J Petersen

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Our aim was to evaluate the interobserver agreement in 18F-sodium fluoride (NaF) PET/CT for the detection of bone metastases in patients with prostate cancer (PCa). Methods: 18F-NaF PET/CT scans were retrieved from all patients who participated in 4 recent prospective trials. Two experienced observers independently evaluated the 18F-NaF PET/CT scans on a patient level using a 3-category scale (no bone metastases [M0], equivocal for bone metastases, and bone metastases present [M1]) and on a dichotomous scale (M0/M1). In patients with no more than 10 lesions, the location and number of lesions were recorded. On a patient level, the diagnostic performance was calculated using a sensitivity analysis, in which equivocal lesions were handled as M0 as well as M1. Results: 18F-NaF PET/CT scans from 219 patients with PCa were included, of whom 129 patients were scanned for primary staging, 67 for biochemical recurrence, and 23 for metastatic castration-resistant PCa. Agreement between the observers was almost perfect on a patient level (3-category unweighted κ = 0.83 ± 0.05, linear weighted κ = 0.90 ± 0.06, and dichotomous κ = 0.91 ± 0.07). On a lesion level (dichotomous scale), the observers agreed on the number and location of bone metastases in 205 (93.6%) patients. In the remaining 14 patients, the readers disagreed on the number of lesions in 13 patients and the location of bone metastases in 1 patient. A final diagnosis of bone metastases was made for 211 of 219 patients. The sensitivity ranged from 0.86 to 0.92, specificity from 0.83 to 0.97, positive predictive value from 0.70 to 0.93, and negative predictive value from 0.94 to 0.96. Conclusion: The interobserver agreement on 18F-NaF PET/CT for the detection of bone metastases in patients with PCa was very high among trained observers, both on a patient level and on a lesion level. Moreover, the diagnostic performance of 18F-NaF PET/CT was satisfactory, rendering 18F-NaF PET/CT a robust tool in the diagnostic armamentarium.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)344-349
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


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© 2020 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

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