Accuracy of 18F-FDG-PET/CT for staging of oral squamous cell carcinoma

Monica Pentenero, Angela Cistaro, Mario Brusa, Maria Maddalena Ferraris, Carla Pezzuto, Riccardo Carnino, Edro Colombini, Maria Consuelo Valentini, Luca Giovanella, Giuseppe Spriano, Sergio Gandolfo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. This study prospectively assessed [F18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D- glucose-positron emission tomography (18F-FDG-PET)/CT (PET/CT) in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Methods. Twenty-three patients completed preoperative TNM staging (CT, MR, whole-body fusion imaging PET/CT). patients who underwent surgical therapy (19 of 23), TNM staging based on PET/CT scan was compared with pTNM. Results. PET/CT correctly staged 16 of 19 primary tumors (accuracy 84.2%, sensitivity 84.2%, positive predictive value 100%) and correctly ruled out bone invasion in 3 patients with false-positive results according to CT and/or MR. PET/CT incorrectly identified neck involvement in 5 of 15 patients (3 false positives, 2 false negatives) who underwent neck dissection (accuracy 66.7%, specificity 76.9%, negative predictive value 83.3%). False-negative cases showed a nodal size not exceeding 10 mm. One patient with a bronchial synchronous primary tumor was identified. Conclusion. PET/CT scan showed good accuracy in determining the extension and/or depth of invasion of the primary tumor. Nevertheless, PET/CT was not accurate to rule out nodal metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1488-1496
Number of pages9
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • Imaging
  • Oncology
  • Oral squamous cell carcinoma
  • PET/CT
  • Staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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