Objective: The aim of the current study was to investigate the predictive value of standardized uptake value(SUV) measured by (18)F-FDG PET for regional lymph nodes (rLN) metastasis in patients with head and neck cancer.
Methods: A retrospective review identified 86 patients with surgically resected head and neck cancer who received (18) F-FDG PET at diagnosis of cancer. The (18) F-FDG PET findings for all primary cancer and rLN involvement were compared with the pathologic diagnosis of LN after surgical resection. Statistical analysis were used to analyze the associations among the the standardized uptake value and the pathologic rLN Status and clinical parameters (age, sex, T stage, location, differentiation.
Results: The rLN (+) group showed statikstically significant higher value of standardized uptake value than the rLN (−) group. In receiver operating characteristic analysis, the SUV showed statistical differences for the prediction of pathologic rLN involvement in head and neck cancer. After univariate analysis, T stage and SUV were factors significantly associated with pathologic rLN involvement in head and neck cancer.
Conclusion: Based on the presented results, the SUV measured by (18) F-FDG PET is a useful method for the prediction of pathologic rLN status in head and neck cancer patients.