[Skip to Navigation]
Clinical Challenges
Aug 2012

A Head and Neck Surgeon’s Perspective on Best Practices for the Use of PET/CT Scans for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Head and Neck Cancers

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;138(8):748-752. doi:10.1001/archoto.2012.1404

This brief review presents a summary evaluation of relevant, identified literature addressing 3 central questions. (1) What is the utility of positron emission tomographic and computed tomographic (PET/CT) scanning in the pretreatment evaluation of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), including those with an unknown primary? (2) What is the utility of PET/CT scanning in the evaluation of patients with HNSCC with a clinically N0 (cN0) neck based on examination and conventional imaging? (3) What is the utility and best timing for PET/CT in the posttreatment oncologic surveillance of patients with HNSCC?