Background: Thallium-201 (201Tl) has come to be widely used in diagnosis of several kinds of malignant tumor, but its usefulness in diagnosing head and neck cancer has not been established.
Purpose: This study investigated the usefulness of 201Tl SPECT imaging in patients with head and neck cancer histologically confirmed.
Methods: Eighteen patients with histologically proven head and neck cancer were studied. 201Tl SPECT images were obtained both 15 min and 4 hours after intravenous injection of 148 MBq of 201Tl-chloride. 201Tl-indices were calculated semiquantitatively to assess the tracer uptake in relation to tumor size and histological type.
Results: High 201Tl uptake was noted in all primary tumors and metastatic lymph nodes on the both early and delayed images, but 201Tl-indices did not show any correlation with tumor size or histological type.
Conclusion: Primary had and neck cancer and lymph node metastasis can be effectively visualized with 201Tl SPECT. It may provide information in addition to morphological changes and may be supplemental method to use in the evaluation of head and neck cancer.