Thallium-201 single-photon emission CT versus CT for the detection of recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Thallium-201 single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) can be used to detect primary squamous cell carcinoma (SCCA) of the head and neck. Nevertheless, there have very few studies performed to evaluate the ability of thallium-201 to depict recurrent SCCA. The purpose of this study was to compare the ability of thallium-201 SPECT with CT to enable detection of recurrent SCCA of the upper aerodigestive tract. METHODS: Thirty-three patients with a history of previously treated SCCA of the extracranial head and neck underwent thallium-201 SPECT imaging and contrast-enhanced CT. A neuroradiologist and nuclear medicine physician with knowledge of the primary site evaluated all thallium-201 studies for abnormal radiotracer uptake at the primary site. These results were correlated with histologic findings and clinical follow-up in all patients. All patients were followed up for a minimum of 2 years after completion of treatment. The McNemar test was used to determine statistical significance. RESULTS: The diagnostic accuracy of thallium-201 SPECT was as follows: sensitivity, 88%; specificity, 94%; positive predictive value, 93%; and negative predictive value, 89%. The diagnostic accuracy of CT was as follows: sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 24%; positive predictive value, 55%; and negative predictive value, 100%. The diagnostic accuracy of thallium was superior to CT (P = .01). CONCLUSION: Thallium-201 SPECT is superior to CT for differentiating recurrent tumor from post-treatment changes and may complement CT in the evaluation of previously treated SCCA of the extracranial head and neck.
Mukherji, SK; Gapany, M; Phillips, D; Neelon, B; O'Brien, S; McCartney, W; Buejenovich, S; Parekh, JS; Noordzij, JP; Castillo, M
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