JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Comparison of thallium-201 and gallium-67 imaging in evaluation of head and neck tumors.

PURPOSE: 201Tl imaging was compared with 67Ga imaging in the detection of malignant head and neck tumors.

METHOD: Eighteen patients with tumors in the head and neck region underwent both planar and SPECT imaging using 201Tl-chloride and 67Ga-citrate. The detection of primary tumors and lymph node (LN) metastases by visual evaluation was compared between 201Tl and 67Ga imaging. Additionally, quantitative analysis of the SPECT images was performed in eight patients.

RESULTS: On visual evaluation, primary tumor uptake was detectable in 100% on the 201Tl SPECT images compared with 44% on the 67Ga SPECT images. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 201Tl in detecting LN metastases were higher than those of 67Ga SPECT; however, there was no statistical difference between 201Tl and 67Ga. The tumor-to-background ratio was significantly higher on 201Tl SPECT than on 67Ga SPECT.

CONCLUSION: This study suggested that 201Tl could be useful in the evaluation of malignant tumors in the head and neck region.

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