Comparison of whole body positron emission tomography (PET)/PET-computed tomography and conventional anatomic imaging for detecting distant malignancies in patients with head and neck cancer: A meta-analysis

Authors

  • Guozeng Xu MD,

    1. Evidence-based Medical Center, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning
    2. Department of Radiation Oncology, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Tumor Hospital, Nanning
    3. Department of Radiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning
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    • G.X. and J.L. contributed equally to this work as first authors.

  • Junkai Li MD,

    1. Evidence-based Medical Center, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning
    2. Department of Radiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning
    3. Department of Clinical Oncology, No. 456 Hospital of People's Liberation Army, Jinan, China
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    • G.X. and J.L. contributed equally to this work as first authors.

  • Xiaoyan Zuo MD,

    1. Evidence-based Medical Center, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning
    2. Department of Radiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning
    3. Department of Clinical Oncology, No. 456 Hospital of People's Liberation Army, Jinan, China
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  • Chunyan Li MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Evidence-based Medical Center, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning
    2. Department of Radiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning
    • Department of Radiology and Evidence-Based Medical Center, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning 530021, China
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  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

We aimed to compare the accuracy of whole body positron emission tomography (PET)/PET-computed tomography (CT) and conventional anatomic imaging for detecting distant malignancies in patients with head and neck cancer.

Study Design:

Meta-Analysis.

Methods:

We performed a meta-analysis of all available studies. We compared the performance of whole body PET/PET-CT with that of conventional anatomic imaging by analyzing studies that had also used conventional anatomic imaging on the same patients.

Results:

Across eight studies (1,147 patients), sensitivity and specificity of PET/PET-CT were 0.83 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76–0.88) and 0.96 (95% CI, 0.94–0.97), respectively, and for conventional anatomic imaging were 0.44 (95% CI, 0.29–0.61) and 0.96 (95% CI, 0.88–0.98), respectively. Subgroup analysis showed that PET/PET-CT had higher sensitivity than conventional anatomic imaging for nasopharyngeal cancer (0.82 vs. 0.30) and non-nasopharyngeal head and neck cancer (0.85 vs. 0.62).

Conclusions:

Compared with conventional anatomic imaging, whole body PET/PET-CT has excellent diagnostic performance for detecting distant malignancies in patients with head and neck cancer.

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