Use Of 18F-FDG PET/CT In The Diagnosis, Staging, Response Assessment And Prognosis Of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: An Updated Review

Xiaomin Ou, Zhongyi Yang, Chaosu Hu


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is endemic in southern China and part of Southeast Asia. The main treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma is radiotherapy. The accurate diagnosis of the tumor extension and the delineation of target volume mostly depend on imaging. The imaging with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT), which provides both anatomic and biological information of tumor, plays an important role in the management of NPC. With the help of 18F-FDG PET/CT, a better diagnosis of cervical nodal involvement and distant metastasis has a great impact on radiotherapy planning and treatment strategy. 18F-FDG PET/CT image provides additional biological information, to help in differentiating the post-radiation inflammation and local residual/recurrent disease. For locally advanced disease, 18F-FDG PET/CT is a better and more sensitive approach for the assessment and surveillance of therapeutic response of NPC , as well as detecting of early relapses and metastasis, , compared with conventional workup. Various PET/CT parameters have been correlated with response and survival. Higher 18F-FDG uptake has been proven to predict poorer response and worse outcome. The combination of EBV DNA copies and PET/CT scan seems to be a useful and effective strategy in the follow-up of NPC.


Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma; 18F-FDG; PET/CT; Diagnosis; Staging; Response Assessment; Prognosis

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