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Keywords:

  • PET;
  • CT-PET;
  • head and neck;
  • squamous cell carcinoma

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to determine prospectively the incremental value of positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) over conventional assessment (clinical examination and CT/MRI imaging).

Methods

All patients undergoing 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET/CT for primary head and neck mucosal squamous cell carcinoma between January 2002 and December 2003 (inclusive) were included in this study provided they had undergone contemporaneous conventional assessment of the head and neck region and had 12 months minimum follow-up.

Results

Seventy-six patients underwent 100 PET/CT scans. The majority of patients (74%) were treated with definitive (chemo)radiotherapy. Median follow-up time was 28 months. PET/CT led to a TNM classification alteration in 34% (12/35), a change in radiotherapy planning technique and/or dose in 29% (10/35), and altered treatment response assessment in 43% (13/30). A complete metabolic response was predictive of overall survival (p = .037).

Conclusion

Our results support incorporation of PET/CT into the management paradigm of head and neck mucosal squamous cell carcinoma. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 2007