Usefulness of 201TL SPECT/CT relative to 18F-FDG PET/CT in detecting recurrent skull base nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Ruoh-Fang Yen, Lai-Lei Ting, Mei-Fang Cheng, Yen-Wen Wu, Kai-Yuan Tzen, Ruey-Long Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: This study was designed to compare (201)Tl single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/CT with 18-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) PET/CT in diagnosing recurrent skull base nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

METHODS: Twenty-seven patients were recruited. Both (201)Tl SPECT/CT and (18)F-FDG PET/CT for each patient were performed at least 4 months later after initial therapy.

RESULTS: The sensitivity and specificity for (201)Tl SPECT/CT were 66.7% and 100%, and those for (18)F-FDG PET/CT were 86.7% and 75.0%. Lesion/background ratios were obtained for the 10 lesions that were both SPECT and PET true positive. For the 8 patients with recurrences in nasopharyngeal regions, PET lesion/background ratios were all higher than SPECT lesion/background ratios. For the 2 patients with intracranial metastases, SPECT lesion/background ratios were higher than PET lesion/background ratios.

CONCLUSION: (201)Tl SPECT/CT is as effective as (18)F-FDG PET/CT in detecting recurrent NPC. For intracranial recurrence, (201)Tl SPECT, because of its high intracranial lesion/background ratio, is probably better than (18)F-FDG PET.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-24
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local/diagnostic imaging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography/methods
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skull Base/diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon/methods


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