When the studies were compared to histopathological results, Dr. Gourin found that PET-CT had a sensitivity of 40%, a specificity of 25%, a positive predictive value of 18%, and a negative predictive value of 50%.
Explore This IssueApril 2006
These results show that a significant number of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with N2 or N3 disease harbor residual metastases despite an apparent clinical response, Dr. Gourin said.
PET-CT is not sufficiently specific or sensitive to predict need for post-treatment neck dissection in this population, she said.
Dr. Gourin, however, suggested that increasing the contrast agent used in the imaging process might substantially increase the specificity and sensitivity of the PET-CT combination.
©2006 The Triological Society