- The added value of SPECT-CT for the identification of sentinel lymph nodes in early stage oral cancer
- European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
- Volume | Issue number
- 44 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
Purpose: To assess the role of single-photon emission computed tomography with computed tomography (SPECT-CT) for the identification of sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) in patients with early stage (T1–T2) oral cancer and a clinically negative neck (cN0).
Methods: In addition to planar lymphoscintigraphy, SPECT-CT was performed in 66 consecutive patients with early stage oral cancer and a clinically negative neck. The addition of SPECT-CT to planar images was retrospectively analyzed for the number of additional SLNs, more precise localization of SLNs, and importance of anatomical information by a team consisting of a nuclear physician, surgeon, and investigator.
Results: Identification rate for both imaging modalities combined was 98% (65/66). SPECT-CT identified 15 additional SLNs in 14 patients (22%). In 2/15 (13%) of these additional SLNs, the only metastasis was found, resulting in an upstaging rate of 3% (2/65). In 20% of the patients with at least one positive SLN, the only positive SLN was detected due to the addition of SPECT-CT. SPECT-CT was considered to add important anatomical information in two patients (3%). In 5/65 (8%) of the patients initially scored SLNs on planar lymphoscintigrams were scored as non-SLNs when SPECT-CT was added. There were four false-negative SLN biopsy procedures in this cohort.
Conclusions: The addition of SPECT-CT to planar lymphoscintigraphy is recommended for the identification of more (positive) SLNs and better topographical orientation for surgery in sentinel lymph node biopsy for early stage oral cancer.
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- Presented at the 7th International Symposium on Sentinel Node Biopsy in Head and Neck Cancer, Rome 8th–9th April 2016. - Presented at the 29th Annual Meeting and Refresher Course of the European Society of Head and Neck Radiology, Leiden 22nd–24th September 2016.
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