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Med Princ Pract. 2005 May-Jun;14(3):155-60.

Dual modality of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography in patients with cervical carcinoma of unknown primary.

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  • 1Clinic of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany.



To evaluate an optimized F-18-flurodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) acquisition protocol for head and neck cancer and assess the usefulness of combined FDG-PET/CT in locating unknown primary tumors in patients with biopsy-proven cervical lymph node metastases.


Twenty-one patients with cervical lymph node metastases of unknown primary tumors underwent staging with FDG-PET/CT. The images of FDG-PET alone, CT alone, FDG-PET/CT read side by side and fused and FDG-PET/CT were evaluated separately by 2 physicians. Imaging results were correlated with either histology (n = 14) or clinical follow-up (n = 7).


On the fused FDG-PET/CT images, primary tumors were identified in 12 patients (57%); with FDG-PET alone and FDG-PET and CT read side by side 11 (52%) primary tumors were found while CT alone identified 5 (23%) primary tumors.


Our data indicate that fused FDG-PET and CT images increased the sensitivity of detecting carcinoma of unknown primary (CUP) tumors compared to CT alone, but not to FDG-PET alone or FDG-PET and CT read side by side. Hence accurate fusion of functional and morphologic data by FDG-PET/CT is a promising imaging modality in the clinical workup of patients with cervical CUP tumors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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