PMID: 17074660Nov 1, 2006

Role of [18F]-FDG PET-CT in the management of the head and neck cancers

Bulletin du cancer
Nicolas FakhryMichel Zanaret


To evaluate the impact of [(18)F]-FDG PET/CT image fusion in the management of carcinomas of the upper aero-digestive tract. This retrospective study included 169 patients with squamous cell cacinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract who underwent a PET/CT for : initial staging (n = 47), cervical lymphadenopathy from an unknown primary (n = 22), post treatment surveillance (n = 68) and detection of recurrent cancer (n = 32). Results of PET/CT were compared with those of standard workup (CT scan of head, neck and chest and abdominal ultrasound). Histology and clinical follow-up were used as gold-standard. PET/CT was more accurate than standard workup for 6.4 % of patients for the initial staging, 18,2 % of patients for cervical lymphadenopathy from an unknown primary, 20,6 % of patients for post-treatment surveillance and 25 % of patients for detection of cancer recurrence. In all patients, 17,9 % of FDG uptake foci found by PET/CT were false-positives. PET/CT is a reliable tool for the management of carcinomas of the upper aerodigestive tract. The high rate of false-positive findings represents the main limitation of this exam.

Related Concepts

Squamous Epithelial Cell
Histology Procedure
Cervical Lymphadenopathy
Recurrent Carcinoma
Recurrent Malignant Neoplasm
Tomography, Emission-Computed
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography

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