The Differentiation of Metastatic Mediastinal Lymph Nodes From Benign Hypermetabolic Lesions

Cureus. 2022 May 10;14(5):e24884. doi: 10.7759/cureus.24884. eCollection 2022 May.

ABSTRACT

Background Anthracosis may cause a positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) false positivity in mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes. We aimed to evaluate the radiological features and the maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) of the mediastinal lymph nodes with anthracosis or squamous cell lung cancer metastasized. Methodology Patients diagnosed with anthracosis or squamous cell lung cancer with endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) between January 1, 2015, and November 15, 2020, in a tertiary hospital were enrolled. The squamous cell subtype of lung cancer was selected due to its association with tobacco use, biomass, and air pollution. Anthracosis may occur due to the same etiologic reasons. Results A total of 190 patients met the study enrollment criteria, of which 86 were diagnosed with anthracosis and 33 with squamous cell lung cancer lymph metastasis. Median values for short axis, long axis, SUVmax, shape features, and presence of calcification were found significantly different between the groups. In receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, the SUVmax cut-off value was calculated as 6.61. With this cutoff value, the negative predictive value (NPV) was 92.5% and the positive predictive value (PPV) was 54% for differentiating anthracosis and malignant lymph nodes metastasis. Conclusions We conclude that the evaluation of the shape and metabolic activities of the anthracotic lymph nodes detected by PET/CT together with EBUS-TBNA granted a more accurate staging of the patients and more cancer patients will benefit from surgical treatment.

PMID:35698679 | PMC:PMC9184177 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.24884

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