RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Evaluation of 18F-FDG PET/CT and CT/MRI with histopathologic correlation in patients undergoing central compartment neck dissection for squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx, hypopharynx, and esophagus.

Oral Oncology 2013 May
OBJECTIVES: Central compartment lymph node metastasis (CLNM) in patients with laryngeal, hypopharyngeal, or cervical esophageal squamous cell carcinoma is associated with unfavorable clinical outcomes, but cannot be reliably detected using computed tomography (CT)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Therefore, we assessed the clinical utility of using (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/CT to identify CLNM in these patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 62 patients were preoperatively evaluated using (18)F-FDG PET/CT and CT/MRI. Histopathologic analysis of the dissected neck tissues was used as the gold standard for assessing these imaging techniques. The diagnostic value of (18)F-FDG PET/CT for detecting CLNM was calculated and compared with CT/MRI. Univariate and multivariate analyses were utilized to determine the factors predictive of CLNM.

RESULTS: Of the 62 patients in the study cohort, 12 (19%) had CLNM. Compared with histology, both (18)F-FDG PET/CT and CT/MRI demonstrated low sensitivity for detecting CLNM (58% vs 42%, respectively, P = 0.625). The specificities of (18)F-FDG PET/CT and CT/MRI for the detection of CLNM were 88% and 90%, respectively (P = 1.000). Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that clinical metastasis to any cervical lymph node was significantly associated with CLNM (P = 0.018).

CONCLUSIONS: Neither (18)F-FDG PET/CT nor CT/MRI is a sensitive diagnostic imaging modality for detecting CLNM. Routine elective central compartment dissection or radiotherapy should be advocated for the treatment of these patients.

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