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[Systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG PET in suspected recurrent head and neck cancer].

OBJECTIVES: A meta-analysis of the literature was performed in this article in order to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG PET in suspected recurrent head and neck cancer.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A systematic review of the literature was performed using 1987 to 2007 MEDLINE and CANCERLIT databases, applying selection criteria to the studies found. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative likelihood ratios, and odds ratio were calculated. The diagnostic accuracy was evaluated with ROC (receive-operating-characteristics) curves.

RESULTS: Nineteen articles were included in the meta-analysis. Sensitivity of 18F-FDG PET was 94 %, specificity 80 %, and the summary ROC curve showed a good trade-off between sensitivity and specificity.

CONCLUSIONS: 18F-FDG PET was useful in patients with suspected recurrence of head and neck cancer, showing a high sensitivity and intermediate-high specificity.

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