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PET In The Diagnosis Of Head And Neck Cancer

Tetsuro Sekine
Published 2020 · Medicine
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In current clinical practice, the standard approach for initial assessment of head and neck cancer (HNC) is clinical examination followed by neck ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Compared with these modalities, fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) may provide unique information about metabolic characteristics. The abnormal elevation of FDG uptake has been shown to be specifically induced in tumor cells because of its low rate of dephosphorylation. Based on this theory, FDG-PET can be used to detect malignant lesions, differentiate benign from malignant lymph nodes (LNs), detect the primary site of unknown primary tumors, plan radiation therapy, and detect tumor recurrence after treatment. In addition, whole-body PET acquisition can be utilized to provide information about the existence of concurrent or distant carcinoma. Another advantage of PET is the capability of robust semi-quantification of metabolic changes by calculating standardized uptake values (SUV). This information can be used to predict prognosis or assess response to therapy. This chapter aims to highlight the use, benefits, and limitations of PET in HNC.
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