Lymphoscintigraphy for sentinel node mapping using a hybrid single photon emission CT (SPECT)/CT system in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma

Head Neck. 2006 Oct;28(10):874-9. doi: 10.1002/hed.20434.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Lymphography / methods
  • Male
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / surgery
  • Neck Dissection
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed