Maximum standardized uptake value (SUV), mean standardized uptake value (SUV), metabolic tumour volume (MTV and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) were obtained on Flourine-18 Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (F-FDG PET/CT) images of women referred with suspected or confirmed vulva cancer recurrence. We compared HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected patients regarding pattern disease recurrence, age at diagnosis, and the PET-derived metabolic indices.
We analyzed 33 patients with a mean age 50.76 ± 15.78 including 21 HIV-infected women. The majority of patients (94 %) had squamous cell carcinoma and 84.85 % were Blacks. Of the HIV-infected individuals, the median CD4 count was 526.0 cells/mm3 (IQR: 379.0-729.0). HIV infected patients were younger than the HIV uninfected at the time of diagnosis: 40.50 ± 8.87 vs 66.54 ± 9.71 respectively, p < 0.001. We found a local (vulvar) recurrence rate of 75.8 %. Nodal pelvic recurrences were higher in the HIV-infected patients than in the HIV uninfected patients (70 % vs 30 %, p = 0.027). Three patients had distant metastasis and all three were HIV-infected. There was a higher whole-body MTV and TLG among HIV-infected women compared with HIV-uninfected women, 103.39 vs 17.58 and 852.64 vs 101.79, respectively (p < 0.05 for both).
HIV-infected women are diagnosed with vulva cancer at a younger age. HIV-infected patients had a higher rate of pelvic lymph node recurrence. There is a higher tumor burden at vulva cancer recurrence among women with HIV infection.
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