Combined PET/CT-perfusion in patients with head and neck cancers

Veit-Haibach, Patrick ; Schmid, Daniel ; Strobel, Klaus ; Soyka, Jan ; Schaefer, Niklaus ; Haerle, Stephan ; Huber, Gerhard ; Studer, Gabriele ; Seifert, Burkhardt ; Hany, Thomas

In: European Radiology, 2013, vol. 23, no. 1, p. 163-173

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    Objectives: Computed tomography perfusion (CTP) can provide information about angiogenesis and blood-flow characteristics in tumours. [18F]Fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) is one of the major oncological imaging techniques which provides information about viability of the tumour cell and partly also about its aggressiveness. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between FDG and CTP data in patients with head and neck cancers. Materials and methods: Forty-one patients with a clinically suspected head and neck cancer were prospectively included. All patients underwent a combined PET/CT with an integrated CTP examination in the area of the head and neck tumour. CTP data (BF, BV and MTT) and PET data (SUVmax, SUVmean, TLG, PETvol) were compared between tumours and (1) healthy contralateral tissue, (2) inflammatory lesions, (3) metastatic lymph nodes, and CTP data and PET data were correlated in tumours. Results: Thirty-five patients had a head and neck cancer. All CTP data were statistically different between tumours, inflammatory lesions, healthy tissue and metastatic lymph nodes; PET/CT data were in part significantly different. CTP and PET parameters were not significantly correlated. Conclusion: CTP and PET parameters were not significantly correlated; thus, the additional CTP values provide additional insights into tumour behaviour and their glycolytic status. Key Points : • Computed tomography perfusion (CTP) can be performed in combined positron emission tomography (PET)/CT. • CTP in addition to PET provides additional insights into tumour behaviour. • CTP can possibly differentiate between head and neck tumours and inflammatory lesions. • PET/CT with integrated CTP is possible without additional contrast media