The role of PET-CT in diagnosing distant metastasis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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ZHANG Guo-yi(Department of Radiotherapy, Cancer Center of the First People's Hospital of Foshan, Foshan 528000, China)
WEI Wei-hong(Department of Radiotherapy, Cancer Center of the First People's Hospital of Foshan, Foshan 528000, China)
LI Yi-zhuo()
XU Tao(Department of Radiotherapy, Cancer Center of the First People's Hospital of Foshan, Foshan 528000, China)
WU Hu-bing()
WANG Quan-shi()
HU Wei-han()
Journal Title:
Volume 23, Issue 05, 2011
Key Word:
Nasopharyngeal neoplasms;Diagnosis;Tomography, emission-computed;Neoplasm metastasis;Neoplasm staging

Abstract: Objective To explore the clinical significance of PET-CT in evaluating distant metastasis and M staging of nasopharyngeal carcinoma(NPC). Methods 257 NPC patients with no prior treatment were investigated with PET-CT and conventional imaging (chest X-ray, abdominal ultrasound, and bone scan). The findings of PET-CT in diagnosing distant metastasis and M staging were compared with those of conventional imaging according to the results of biopsy and follow-up. Results PET-CT disclosed 34 of 39 patients with distant malignancy compared with 22 patients disclosed by conventional imaging. The false positive rate of PET-CT was 12.8 %. On region-based analyses, PET-CT was more effective than bone scan and chest X-ray for detecting mediastinum metastasis (x2=4.063, P =0.041) and bone metastasis (x2=5.939, P=0.015), respectively. Compared with conventional imaging, PET-CT had an impact on the M staging of 19 patients (7.4 %), of which 15 patients were truly staged and 4 patients incorrectly staged. Conclusion PET-CT is superior to MRI in evaluating distant metastasis and M staging of NPC.

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