ABSTRACT: While FDG PET/CT for the evaluation of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in adult patients has documented advantages and disadvantages compared with conventional imaging, to our knowledge, no studies of FDG PET/CT for the evaluation of NPC in pediatric patients have been performed. In this investigation, we studied the utility of FDG PET/CT in children with NPC.
The study group comprised 18 children with biopsy-proven NPC who underwent FDG PET/CT and MRI (total 38 pairs of images). All baseline and follow-up FDG PET/CT and MRI studies were independently reviewed for restaging of disease.
The concordance between FDG PET/CT and MRI in T, N, and overall staging was 29%, 64%, and 43%, respectively. Compared with MRI, FDG PET/CT yielded lower T and overall staging and showed less cervical and retropharyngeal lymphadenopathy. The concordance between follow-up FDG PET/CT and MRI was 79% overall and 100% 9 months after therapy. In patients who achieved complete remission, FDG PET/CT showed disease clearance 3-6 months earlier than MRI. There were no false-positive or false-negative FDG PET/CT scans during follow-up.
FDG PET/CT may underestimate tumor extent and regional lymphadenopathy compared with MRI at the time of diagnosis, but it helps to detect metastases and clarify ambiguous findings. FDG PET/CT is sensitive and specific for follow-up and enables earlier determination of disease remission. FDG PET/CT is a valuable imaging modality for the evaluation and monitoring of NPC in pediatric patients.
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 04/2012; 39(7):1097-106. · 4.53 Impact Factor