The role of FDG-PET/CT imaging in head and neck malignant conditions: impact on diagnostic accuracy and patient care

Arie Gordin, Avishay Golz, Zohar Keidar, Marcello Daitzchman, Rachel Bar-Shalom, Ora Israel
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 2007, 137 (1): 130-7

BACKGROUND: To assess the value of positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) with 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) in patients with head and neck carcinoma as compared with PET and conventional imaging alone, and to assess the impact of PET/CT on further clinical management.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective nonrandomized study.

SETTING: Ninety patients with head and neck tumors had 107 PET/CT examinations.

RESULTS: The study analysis showed that PET/CT had a sensitivity of 89%, specificity 95%, PPV 94%, NPV 90%, and accuracy of 92%. PET/CT altered management in 51 patients (56%). PET/CT eliminated the need for previously planned diagnostic procedures in 24 patients, induced a change in the planned therapeutic approach in 21 patients and guided biopsy in 6 patients.

CONCLUSIONS: PET/CT is an imaging modality with high diagnostic performance in the assessment of head and neck cancer, and induced a change in further clinical management in more than half of the study population.

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