Background: We assessed the added clinical value of fused single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and low-dose CT images compared with planar images for sentinel node (SN) mapping in patients with oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Methods: Twenty consecutive patients with newly diagnosed biopsy-proven SCC of the oral cavity were enrolled. Scintigraphy was performed using a hybrid gamma-camera/low-dose CT system. Planar images and fused SPECT/CT images were interpreted separately. All patients underwent a sentinel node biopsy (SNB) followed by a neck dissection. All SNs underwent meticulous pathologic examination and immunohistochemistry staining (cytokeratin complex) in addition to routine pathologic examinations of the neck dissection specimen.
Results: The sensitivity for the detection of nodal metastases was 87.5%. SPECT/CT improved SN identification and/or localization compared with planar images in 6 patients (30%).
Conclusions: SPECT/CT SN mapping provides additional preoperative data of clinical relevance to SNB in patients with oral cavity SCC.
(c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.