Differentiation of Malignant and Benign Pulmonary Nodules with Quantitative First-Pass 320–Detector Row Perfusion CT versus FDG PET/CT

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.10100245

Dynamic first-pass area-detector perfusion CT has the potential to be more specific and accurate than integrated fluorine 18 fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT for differentiation of malignant and benign pulmonary nodules.


To prospectively compare the capability of quantitative first-pass perfusion 320–detector row computed tomography (CT) (ie, area-detector CT) with that of combined positron emission tomography and CT (PET/CT) for differentiation between malignant and benign pulmonary nodules.

Materials and Methods

This prospective study was approved by the institutional review board, and written informed consent was obtained from 50 consecutive patients with 76 pulmonary nodules. All patients underwent dynamic area-detector CT, PET/CT, and microbacterial and/or histopathologic examinations. All pulmonary nodules were divided into three groups: malignant nodules (n = 43), benign nodules with low biologic activity (n = 6), and benign nodules with high biologic activity (n = 27). For each dynamic area-detector CT data set, the perfusion derived by using the maximum slope model (PFMS), extraction fraction derived by using the Patlak plot model (EFPP), and blood volume derived by using the Patlak plot model (BVPP) were calculated. These parameters were statistically compared among the three nodule groups. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were used to compare the diagnostic capability of the CT and PET/CT indexes. Finally, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of each index were compared by using the McNemar test.


All indexes in the malignant nodule group were significantly different from those in the low-biologic-activity benign nodule group (P < .05). Areas under the ROC curve for PFMS and EFPP were significantly larger than those for BVPP (P < .05) and maximal standard uptake value (SUVmax) (P < .05). The specificity and accuracy of PFMS and EFPP were significantly higher than those of BVPP and SUVmax (P < .05).


Dynamic first-pass area-detector perfusion CT has the potential to be more specific and accurate than PET/CT for differentiating malignant from benign pulmonary nodules.

© RSNA, 2011

Supplemental material: http://radiology.rsna.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1148/radiol.10100245/-/DC1


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Article History

Received February 1, 2010; revision requested April 2; revision received July 7; accepted August 4; final version accepted September 13.
Published online: Feb 2011
Published in print: Feb 2011