Rational diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck region: comparative evaluation of CT, MRI, and 18FDG PET

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2005 Apr;184(4):1326-31. doi: 10.2214/ajr.184.4.01841326.


Objective: We sought to evaluate the efficiency of (18)FDG PET, CT, and MRI for the preoperative staging of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the head and neck region.

Conclusion: MRI is recommended as the method of choice in the preoperative evaluation of SCC of the oral cavity and the oropharynx. PET can provide relevant diagnostic information in case of equivocal findings by MRI or CT. Routine use of PET, however, does not appear to be necessary if optimized MRI is available.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnostic imaging
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • ROC Curve
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18