Diagnostic Accuracy of Follow-Up FDG PET or PET/CT in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer After Definitive Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review;Systematic Review)

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the diagnostic performance of FDG PET or PET/CT for detection of local, regional, and distant recurrences in the follow-up of patients with head and neck cancer who underwent definitive treatment. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic search was performed in MEDLINE and Cochrane Library (updated September 2014) to identify relevant published studies. Studies investigating the accuracy of FDG PET/CT that were performed at least 4 months after therapy were included. Two authors independently screened all retrieved articles, selected studies that met the inclusion criteria, and extracted the data. Histopathologic confirmation or clinical follow-up of at least 6 month (or both) was considered as the reference standard. RESULTS: Twenty-three studies constituting a total of 2247 FDG PET/CT examinations met our inclusion criteria. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of follow-up PET/CT for detection of recurrence were 0.92 (95% CI, 0.90-0.94), and 0.87 (95% CI, 0.82-0.91), respectively. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of scans performed 4-12 months after treatment were 0.95 (95% CI, 0.91-0.97) and 0.78 (95% CI, 0.70-0.84), respectively. Similar estimates for scans performed at or more than 12 months after treatment were 0.92 (95% CI, 0.85-0.96) and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.78-0.96), respectively. The overall accuracy of FDG PET/CT in detecting recurrence is higher in patients without suspicion of recurrence before the scan compared with the patients with suspected recurrence. CONCLUSION: The high diagnostic performance of FDG PET/CT in detecting recurrence in curatively treated patients with head and neck cancer supports its use in clinical practice for patient follow-up. Further studies are needed to evaluate the prognostic utility of PET/CT in the follow-up of head and neck cancer.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sheikhbahaei, S; Taghipour, M; Ahmad, R; Fakhry, C; Kiess, AP; Chung, CH; Subramaniam, RM

Published Date

  • September 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 205 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 629 - 639

PubMed ID

  • 26295652

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1546-3141

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2214/AJR.14.14166


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States