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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 192-196

18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography imaging of metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer with emphasis on the distribution of bone metastases

1 Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
2 Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore
3 RadLink PET and Cardiac Imaging Centre, RadLink Diagnostic Imaging, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Ammad Shanoon Al Tamimi
Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, White 427, Boston, MA
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DOI: 10.4103/1450-1147.207273

PMID: 28670176

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Distant metastases change the prognosis of patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) which most commonly metastasizes to the bone. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) is reported as useful in imaging NPC metastases. Our study assesses the incidence and distribution of bone metastases detected by 18F-FDG PET/CT in NPC. 717 18F-FDG PET/CT scan reports of histologically proven NPC patients imaged in Singapore General Hospital, Singapore, between 2003 and 2009 were reviewed for the total number of metastases (scanned from vertex to mid-thigh) and analyzed for distribution. Of the 709 FDG avid metastases in these reports, 357/709 (50.35%) were locoregional nodal metastasis and 352/709 (49.65%) were distant metastases of which 192/709 (27.08%) of total metastases and 54.54% of distant metastases (192/352) were in the bones. The majority of the bone lesions 125/192 (65.1%) were in the axial skeleton with 109/192 (56.77%) in the lower skeleton (thoracolumbar spine, sacrum, and pelvis). The incidence of bone metastases in our study (27.08%) was higher than that reported in other studies, for example, 15% by Liu et al. and 11% (230 patients) by Caglar et al. Bone metastases have been reported in the femurs and the feet and as such some metastases may have been outside the field of view of the scans. In our study, 27% of FDG avid NPC metastases are in the bones.

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