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PET scan results

Posts: 62
Joined: Jul 2009

Well, my husband was able to get the PET scan after radioactive shot number 2. I would love some help interpreting the results:

A photopenic defect is identified in the right hepatic lob with a rim of hypermetabolism corresponding to a hypodense mass on the low-dose CT scan measuring 5 x 6.6 cm in size. Intensity of peripheral hypermetabolism has decreased compared to the previous PET-CT. Moreover, the additional small foci of increased radiotracer uptake in the liver parenchyma on the previous examination has resolved, currently the maximum SUV is 3.8. It previously measured a maximum SUV of 6.2.

Other hypodense masses are identified the left and right hepatic lobes with no hypermetabolism on the PET scan. This is not uncommon in patients with mucinous neoplasms.

Multiple hepatic meastases within the right hepatic lobe. The lesion located inferiorly demonstrates a peripheral rim of hypermetabolism. The others are entirely photopenic. Mucinous neoplasms are not uncommonly inapparent of PET scan due to their high mucin content. The peripheral rim of hypermetabolism in the inferior right hepatic lobe lesion has decreased in intesity. No extrahepatic lesions are identified.

So it seems they are skeptical that the cancer is "dead" in the multiple tumors because of the mucin features, although four of them lit up last time. Only one is lighting up this time? Any idea what photopenic means? So only one tumor is lighting up now? Any help deciphering this would be greatly appreciated!

sfmarie's picture
Posts: 605
Joined: Aug 2009

You need to speak with a liver surgeon. If there is only one tumor or less than five with certain size parameters, he may be eligible for resection. It sounds good to me, but I am no expert. Marie

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008


I believe "photopenic" means it is no longer showing up as lit up on the PET, wheras it had done so in the past. If that's the case, it would mean it doesn't have enough metabolic activity to show up on the PET. The fact that the show up at all would be seen on the limited CT portion of the PET/CT scan (they merge the two together for better viewing).
The amount of "uptake" is referring to the level of metabolic activity. So the fact that the uptake number is now less in the one tumor than before suggests that the metabolic/cancerous activity is slowing down in that tumor. I can't comment on the rest of it, as I don't know more than what I just said. I would personally interpret this scan result as good and that your husband is responding to chemo.

Best wishes,

angelsbaby's picture
Posts: 1171
Joined: May 2008

If it show things getting smaller and not even there is a good sign that something is working to get rid of it. We all hope for that.


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