Evaluation of 18F-FDG PET/CT as a diagnostic imaging and staging tool for feline oral squamous cell carcinoma



18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (18FDG-PET/CT) has been shown to be effective for staging human oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) but its application for cats with oral SCC is unknown. Twelve cats with biopsy-proven oral SCC were imaged with whole body 18FDG-PET/CT to determine its value as a diagnostic imaging and staging tool and fine needle aspirates were obtained of accessible regional lymph nodes. All tumors were FDG avid and conspicuous on 18FDG-PET/CT images, with an average of the maximum standardized uptake value 9.88 ± 5.33 SD (range 2.9–24.9). Soft tissue infiltrative tumors that were subtle and ill defined on CT were highly visible and more extensive on FDG-PET/CT. Tumors invading the osseous structures were more similar in extent on 18FDG-PET/CT and CT although they were more conspicuous on PET images. Three cytologically confirmed metastases were hypermetabolic on PET, while two of those metastases were equivocal on CT.