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Radiology. 1996 Jul;200(1):135-41.

Recurrence of head and neck cancer after surgery or irradiation: prospective comparison of 2-deoxy-2-[F-18]fluoro-D-glucose PET and MR imaging diagnoses.

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1
Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Medical Center, University Hospital, Ann Arbor 48109-0028, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of positron emission tomography (PET) with administration of 2-deoxy-2-[fluorine-18]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) relative to that of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and/or computed tomography (CT) in recurrent head and neck cancers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Twelve adult patients (mean age, 63 years) with previously treated head and neck cancers and clinical suspicion of recurrence underwent FDG PET and MR imaging and/or CT. All images were blindly and independently interpreted without histopathologic findings (obtained within 1 week of imaging). The level of confidence in image interpretation was graded by using a five-point rating system (0 = definitely no recurrence to 4 = definite recurrence).

RESULTS:

Recurrence was confirmed in eight patients. With a rating of 4 as a positive finding, FDG PET yielded a sensitivity and specificity of 88% (seven of eight) and 100% (four of four), respectively; MR imaging and/or CT, 25% (two of eight) and 75% (three of four), respectively. Receiver-operating characteristic analysis showed significantly better diagnostic accuracy with FDG PET than with MR imaging and/or CT (area under curve = 0.96 vs 0.55, P < .03).

CONCLUSION:

These data indicate that PET metabolic imaging, as compared with anatomic methods, has improved diagnostic accuracy for recurrent head and neck cancer.

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